Garbage Disposal will be my Priority - Domogan

Baguio City-- The hope of seeing this city regaining its crown as the Cleanest and Greenest Highly Urbanized City in the entire country is now up with mayoralty candidate Mauricio G. Domogan vowing to make the garbage problem on top of his agenda once elected to the city’s chief executive post.

“My first agenda if ever given the chance to go back to the mayor’s office is to address the garbage disposal problem,”  Domogan said during the start of the local campaign this week. “We were able to do it before, with the cooperation of everyone, there is no reason we can’t do it again,” he said, adding.

Baguio was adjudged the Cleanest and Greenest Highly Urbanized City in the entire country in 1994, 1995, and 1996 elevating the city into the Hall of Fame. The city received a trophy and P1,000,000 cash per reward. When the city received the Hall of Fame trophy it came along with a P2,000,000 cash award for a total of P5M cash awards  from the clean and green program of the national government.

Due to this award, the city won the Gawad Pamana ng Lahi or the Heritage Award, known as the Mother of All Awards for two (2) consecutive years (1995 and 1996). The award is the highest and most prestigious award the national government can give to the best performing local government unit in all programs. The city received a trophy and P2,000,000 cash per award which was used by the city to purchase additional garbage trucks from Japan.

Learning from the lessons of yesterday, we can address and solve our garbage problem. An effective and efficient team has to really work and carry out the proposed solution, with the city’s leadership always in control of the situation. The city should immediately construct the permanent solid waste disposal system at the site that the World Bank Funded study  identified during the late 90s. The study was conducted by a French consultant.  The site is located at the boundary of the Sto. Tomas School Area and Camp 7.

The city government had approved the said area as the relocation site of the Irisan dumpsite per Resolution No. 078 Series of 2009 but the engineering details for the project has not yet been done.

Domogan said that once at the City Mayor’s Office he would immediately  convene a technical committee composed of people from the city, the Environment Management Board (EMB), the Mines and Geo-Science Bureau (MGB), the National Solid Waste Commission and the Philex Mines which volunteered to help without any expense on the part of the city, to work on a full time daily basis to prepare and finish the engineering details and cost estimate. Construction of a temporary solid waste disposal facility near the site as a temporary solution while working on the permanent solution may be considered, he added.

While these are being undertaken, we will implement the Material Recovery Facilities (MRF) program as had been agreed upon during the conference attended by PGMA, then DENR Sec. Lito Atienza and Sec. Heherson Alvarez. During that affair, it was announced that the city needs P21 million to put MRFs in all the barangays. P13 million will be from the City government, P8 million from the national government. The President further ordered that barangays near Mansion House should locate their MRF site within the Mansion House compound, those near John Hay area should likewise locate their MRF site within the CJH area and lands within the authority of the DENR should be the MRF sites of other barangays.

Domogan added that composting in some barangays that have available lands must be undertaken at the same time let us strike an agreement with the people of Irisan for us to immediately construct an extension of the retaining wall so it can be used as our temporary depository area for our residual waste while our permanent site is being constructed. All of this must be done at the same time. “With the right kind of leadership, teamwork, collaboration and cooperation from our constituents, I see no reason why our garbage problem can not be solved. One person cannot do it all. We need to work together to bring Baguio back to its prominence-- to its rightful place, the Hall of Fame, as the Cleanest and Greenest Highly Urbanized City in the country” he said.  **

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