BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio Domogan on Wednesday appealed to the city council not to declare the city’s ten-year Solid Waste Management Plan as inoperative even as the National Solid Waste Management Council (NSWMC) issued a clarification why it approved the plan even without the august body’s confirmation.
The mayor was referring to the proposed resolution of Councilor Peter Fianza to declare “the plan as inoperative until it shall have been confirmed by the city council or approved anew by the NSWMC with the changes as may be directed by the action or endorsement of the city council.”
The mayor suggested that instead of annulling the entire plan outright, the city council should just review the provisions and amend those that need to be changed or enhance those that need to be improved.
That way he said the city can move on with its projects based on the plan.
The mayor said the city has been coveting the NSWMC’s go signal to the plan after being denied approval before.
“Now, it’s there. Although inadvertently done, we have secured the approval of the NSWMC. Why would we do something to negate it if that will benefit our city,” he said.
The mayor said the city’s plan was submitted to the NSWMC merely for comment and critiquing but as it turned out, the NSWMC approved the plan through Resolution No. 198 series of 2015 last Oct. 13, 2015.
City general services officer Romeo Concio said the NSWMC was aware that the plan has not been approved by the city council but wrote the mayor clarifying that despite their approval, the city council’s inputs can still incorporated in the plan.
In the clarification letter dated June 13 and furnished to the city council, NSWMC solid waste division executive director Eligio Ildefonso said their office no longer follows the flow process adopted earlier due to the “limited SWM staff in the regional office coupled with the influx of submission of SWM plans for review and approval both at the regional offices and at the NSWM Commission Secretariat.”
He said that most of SWM plans accepted by the region which were confirmed and endorsed by the legislative bodies for approval were turned down by their office due to lacking information in the different sections of the LGU plans.
“With the scenario, many (local government units) had brought to the attention of this office during the conduct of our technical assistance airing their concerns that they can no longer present back their denied SWM plans to the (councils) once corrected as it was already adopted and endorsed earlier by their respective SWM boards as well as their respective legislative bodies,” Ildefonso explained.
“Because of the 30-day timeline of review, this office opted to endorse for approval all SWM plans that complied with the annotated outlines before it has to be adopted by the LGU (councils),” he said.
However, he emphasized that any changes that will be made by the councils to the approved LGU SWM Plans can be submitted back to their office for updating of the plans.
Fianza in his proposal deplored the fact that they were bypassed and not even informed of the NSWMC action.
He said the council will have to conduct an investigation “to avoid, prevent or otherwise check and clarify unwanted criticisms and malicious suspicions or insinuations of a wrong committed or intended in having the plan approved since it does not conform to the guidelines for review and approval of plans as provided under NSWMC Resolution No. 39 series of 2009.”/Aileen P. Refuerzo