Issue of January 6, 2019

71th Courier Anniversary Issue
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La Trinidad allots P35 M for Bantay Basura revival
by Ofelia C. Empian

La Trinidad, Benguet has reactivated its Bantay Basura program owing to the huge help it brings in reducing the wastes generated within the municipality.

Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer Arthur Pedro said they will bring back the 175 bantay basura advocates with the approval of the P3.5 million budget as their honorarium.

Pedro said there are only 78 advocates at present who are assigned in six out of 16 barangays namely Pico, Betag, Poblacion, Cruz and Alapang.

“Since May 2018, the services of advocates from other barangays were discontinued because the allotted budget could only accommodate the honoraria of 78 advocates,” Pedro said.

“We’ve noticed that there was an increase in the garbage collection when the bantay basura advocates were reduced,” he said.

He said this observation was also shared by the various barangay officers prompting the Liga ng mga Barangay to pass a resolution for the reactivation of the Bantay Basura program.

“The reactivation of the program will help in the enforcement of the solid waste management ordinance of the municipality to prevent the indiscriminate dumping of garbage. It is also believed that the program is an instrument in disciplining our constituents on proper waste management, to achieve a cleaner and healthier La Trinidad,” the resolution reads.

Pedro said there are 160 collection points in the municipality where one bantay basura advocate each is deployed. The rest of the 15 advocates are deployed at the sanitary landfill in Barangay Alno.

He said they have informed the barangays to give recommendations for the bantay basura advocates in their area.

The qualifications are: able to read and write, must be physically fit and not more than 70 years old.

The Bantay Basura program was conceptualized and initially implemented in the town in 2016 under the bottom-up-budgeting through the Tulong Pangkabuhayan para sa mga Disadvantaged at Displaced Workers of the Department of Labor and Employment.

The program is now backed by a recently approved ordinance that institutionalizes the program for proper waste management in the municipality.

The program is also attributed as a means in reducing its wastes through the strict implementation and dedication of the respective bantay basura advocates in every barangay.

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