Issue of February 4, 2018
     
NEWS
Abra
Benguet
Ifugao
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Mt. Province
 
OPINION
 

2017
Panagbenga Flower Festival
 
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Baguio to use Dairy Farm as waste station for a year
by Rimaliza A. Opiña

Protests notwithstanding, the city government of Baguio is bent on using a portion of the Baguio Dairy Farm as transfer station for wastes collected from the barangays and the central business district.

In the Jan. 30 executive-legislative meeting, which Mayor Mauricio Domogan presided, he revealed that the new terms of reference for hauling services might exclude the proviso that mandates haulers to provide a staging area for wastes.

To address the complaint of residents and officials of nearby Tuba, Benguet, Domogan said the city government will infuse funds in the development of a state-of-the-art staging area.

He said the city government will be able to cut down on costs and channel the savings for the construction.

Councilor Peter Fianza concurred with the mayor and recalled that when the TOR was being formulated at the city council, he argued that as per the Solid Waste Management Act, the staging area should be maintained by the LGU, not by a private entity. He said he submitted a module using as a reference a design prepared by the World Bank, but the same has not been considered and the TOR mandated bidders for hauling to have a staging area before they could qualify.

Having spent millions for hauling, Fianza said the city government should instead infuse more funds for the development of a modern staging area where the highest standards of sanitation will be followed.

“This is a time that we can fix this and show (to the public) that it can be done. The cost should not matter,” Fianza said suggesting that instead of a mere waste transfer station, the area should be developed into a materials recovery facility (MRF).

“Instead of a transfer station, it should be an MRF so we can show the public that garbage is properly handled,” Fianza said.

M.A. Camilo Freight Services has been the city’s hauler for many years now for it is the only company that has a staging area. Several years ago, Flores Construction won the bid to haul but the city government had to award the contract to M.A. Camilo after the winning bidder failed to gain social acceptance for his proposed staging area at Camp 7.

Recently, M.A. Camilo had to shutdown his staging area at Puguis, La Trinidad after nearby residents sought a court order and complained about the nuisance brought about by the stench of garbage.

Because of the absence of a staging area, the city government sought permission from the Department of Agriculture to use a portion of the Dairy Farm as transfer station. The city is also imposing a “no touchdown policy” to ensure that garbage from the city’s dump trucks are immediately transferred to the trucks of M.A. Camilo then hauled to the sanitary landfill of Urdaneta City.

Domogan said if DA Sec. Manny Piñol issues a clearance, the city government will develop the area. “By all means tarimanen tayo tano uray maipan tayo ti korte ket maipakita tayo nga nadalus. Ang importante is how to improve the premises. We do not want to prejudice our neighbors,” Domogan said.


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