City's ESL near realization

BAGUIO CITY – an alternative site for an Eg ngineered Sanitary Landfill (ESL) is being considered by the city government here to address the garbage problem.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan disclosed the possibility of purchasing a land outside the city could serve as an ESL site once the ESL project in Ampucao, Itogon Benguet will not push through.

This as the South Korean Firm, DOHWA Engineering Co., Ltd which is said to fund the Ampucao ESL is having second thoughts in continuing with the same due to the slow issuance of the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC).

Domogan said, 'he still supports the planned establishment of the ESL in Ampucao, Benguet being a 'feasible site' and hopes that everything will be ironed out between the local officials and the community'.

It can be recalled that residents of Sal-angan, Ampucao earlier opposed the project and asked for a Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) to be conducted first by the South Korean Firm and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and that everything about the project will be disclosed both negative and positive effect it might pose to the community.

The South Korean Firm earlier planned to grant a $30 million fund for the establishment of an ESL on a 23-hectare facility capable of converting waste to energy and also to recover recyclable materials which would last for 25 years.

The host community will also be entitled to tipping fees during its operation.

Local Officials including Mayor Domogan has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and has jointly endorsed the realization of the project.

Domogan said, 'the Ampucao ESL could benefit the BLISTT and could be a long term solution to the garbage problem affecting not only Baguio City but the whole region as well'.

With the project stalled, Domogan said, the city will continue to look for an alternative site that is suitable for the permanent solid waste disposal system of the city.

'It could be better if we have a landfill within the city, but we lack space', Domogan Said.

He further added that a possible site has already been scouted and that the only thing lacking now is 'Social Acceptability' before anything can be started.

'If this will push through, we can also accommodate the garbage of the municipality where it will be located', he stressed. ***paul rillorta