Issue of January 5, 2020
     
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Benguet
 
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City intensifies anti-littering drive; eyes environmental fees
by Aileen P. Refuerzo / PIO

The city government intensified its anti-littering campaign amid the Christmas holiday to contend with the garbage problem which worsened as more tourists spent their break in Baguio.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong rued the lack of discipline and mindfulness in the disposal of trash especially at the central business district where people milled starting Dec. 23 prompting him to order Baguio City Police Director Col. Allen Co to launch an aggressive anti-littering drive effective Dec. 28.

He said he will also recommend to the city council the passage of ordinances that will impose congestion and environmental fees to tourists for the protection of the city’s environs.

Last Dec. 27, he directed the police to arrest those who indiscriminately throw their refuse and penalize restaurants and business establishments in the city that do not observe the proper time of bringing out their trash.

“Our city is overwhelmed with trash this holiday season hence I am asking for your cooperation,” the mayor said.

Co said the campaign resulted to the apprehension of 49 violators from Dec. 28, adding that the ordinance will be enforced not only during peak tourist season.

General Services Officer Eugene Buyucan personally monitored the garbage disposal and collection along Session Road last Dec. 29 and called out establishments that brought out their garbage outside the prescribed time from 5 p.m. and 2 a.m.

He said violators were identified and reported to the Permits and Licensing Division and the Sanitary Division of the City Health Services Office for sanctions.

The mayor earlier sought the imposition of maximum allowable penalty for those violating the city’s ordinance on cleanliness including establishments neglecting the upkeep of their surroundings.

A proposed amendatory ordinance to upgrade the existing one is now being considered at the city council.

Ordinance 47 s. 1995 is entitled, “Amending the penal provisions of Ordinance 54-88 ‘An ordinance penalizing illegal disposal of refuse, excrement and egesta, removal or destruction of receptacles for refuse and illegal obstruction of waterways and dumping into bodies of water requiring certain persons, institutions and establishments to provide for receptacles for refuse to keep surroundings clean and to pick up litter providing for amnesty from prosecution.”

The measure metes penalties of P150 fine and/or 20 to 30-day imprisonment for first offense and P250 fine and/or 45-day incarceration for second and succeeding offenses.

The mayor said the city should impose the highest allowable penalty to compel residents to comply with the law.


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ENVIRONMENT
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