BAGUIO CITY – The Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) can do a lot in helping local government units contend with their garbage problems by taking the initiative to identify and reserve available lots for each locality to set up their permanent waste management systems.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan broached this in his weekly Ugnayang Panlungsod press briefing last Wednesday pointing out that DENR, being the repository of lands, both alienable and inalienable, in the country is in the position to take this step to help LGUs like Baguio City locate areas for their waste disposal schemes in the light of the mandatory closure of all open dumpsites in the country in 2016.
The mayor cited the difficulties encountered by the City in scouting for available and suitable lots for said purpose since he reassumed as mayor in 2010.
He said they followed through on all the prospective lots identified during the time of former mayor Peter Rey Bautista and scouted for new ones, some of which are located outside the City but nothing worked out until the Benguet Corporation offered its Antamok open pit for the Itogon town waste management system project to include the City.
At present, the two LGUs are working closely with the BC and the DENR to complete the requirements and expedite the project.
The City also experienced hardship in locating a site for its waste transfer station where the refuse collected from the various barangays are sorted and compacted prior to transport to the engineered sanitary landfill in Urdaneta, Pangasinan.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol recently allowed the City to utilize five hectares of the 92-hectare property of the Dept. of Agriculture at the Dairy Farm as transfer station and plans are afoot for the City to improve the area with the aim of eventually having it ceded to the LGU.
The mayor said the DENR Cordillera Administrative Region office headed by Regional Executive Director Reynaldo Digamo is helping the City in these endeavors.
The City’s waste management effort was acknowledged by the DENR during the 3rd Cordillera Environmental Summit attended by DENR Undersecretary Juan Miguel Cuna last Wednesday where the City was lauded for being one of the few LGUs to have a 10-year waste management plans approved by the National Waste Management Commission (NWMC)./Aileen P. Refuerzo