BAGUIO CITY – Every fourth Thursday of every quarter is declared citywide clean-up day in Baguio’s inland waterways with all sectors: barangays, academe, business establishments, civic and professional groups, market associations government agencies and private institutions, and youth organizations enjoined to actively participate.
Administrative order 181, series of 2018 issued by Mayor Mauricio Domogan endeavors to empower the public in bringing back good inland water quality.
As such, a task force for Ambalanga, Balili, Bued, and Asin-Galliano river basins composed of concerned offices are assigned specific functions.
The Health Services Office (HSO) is tasked with instituting sanitation standards in areas of jurisdiction and issue Sanitation Order to violators and waterway polluters.
The City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO), as part of the Salaknib ti Waig river cleanliness program identifies sources of pollution along waterways, with the City Legal Office tasked with filing cases against violators for failure to comply with proper waste water disposal.
During occasions where there is plugging of illegal waste discharges, or demolitions of structures, the Philippine National Police (PNP) maintains peace and order, the AO states.
Barangay officials would identify waterway polluters in their area of jurisdiction, with the City Building and Architecture Office (CBAO) identifying illegal structures along waterways and lead demolition on illegal disposal system; with assistance from the Public Order and Safety Division (POSD) of the City Mayor’s Office.
The City Engineering Office (CEO) is in-charge of illegal dumped wastes causing waterways obstruction while the General Services Office (GSO) takes care of fished-out solid wastes from rivers and creeks.
Inland water must be protected as they are water sources recharged in aquifers, the AO further states.
The City Veterinary’s Office inspects existing hog raisers in the city, which may be demolished if built along waterways. Other illegal discharges or by-pass pipes are plugged by the concerned offices.
Hog raisers must comply with the AO’s provisions to continue operation: firstly a sufficient area for a CBAO/CEPMO-designed septic tank as to pig waste generated daily. A maximum of four pigs are allowed to be raised in a house, and the septic tank must be dislodged regularly with no overflow discharged towards any waterway, the AO states.
Hograisers located beyond 500 meters from any waterway are allowed to continue operation with technologies to prevent odor, proliferation of flies and processing of animal manure to compost. Even with compliance with the mentioned conditions, however, hog raising ceases after three years, based from the date of inspection.
Hog raisers unable to meet or are unwilling to comply with the settlements shall voluntarily demolish their pig pens upon receiving a notice of demolition, Mayor Domogan through the AO sternly warns, while sanitary practices are to be imposed by all sectors to promote inland waterways cleanliness./Julie G. Fianza