BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan announced that Benguet Corporation (BC) will be donating to the local government more than 24 hectares of its Antamok open pit site in Itogon, Benguet which could be used for the establishment of the city’s proposed integrated solid waste disposal facility that will serve as the permanent solution to the current garbage disposal issues and concerns.
Domogan met with BC officials Wednesday at the Baguio Country Club to discuss how the concerned parties will work out the finalization of the deed of usufruct allowing the local government to use the property for its proposed integrated solid waste disposal facility that will include a centralized materials recovery facility (MRF), an engineered sanitary landfill, an anaerobic digester, a health and medical waste treatment plant, a special waste treatment plant and the two Environmental Recycling System (ERS) machines.
He revealed that the 24.11 hectares that will be subjected to the usufruct agreement for the free use of the city for a 25-year period will come from five separate titles of the company, thus, the need for the surveyors of the concerned parties to immediately conduct the required survey to identify the areas that will be included in the agreement prior to its finalization.
Earlier, BC donated to the Itogon municipal government some 9,000 square meters of its Antamok property which will be used by the town for the put up of its own solid waste disposal facility.
“We want to fastrack the finalization of the deed of usufruct so that we can start working on the ground works needed for the put up of the proposed integrated solid waste disposal facility which has been identified as the permanent solution to the city’s current garbage woes. We want to work on the project once the survey shall have been completed,” Domogan stressed.
He explained that once the deed of usufruct will be finalized and the ground works shall have been put in place, the priority of the local governments is for the immediate relocation of the temporary transfer station at the Baguio Dairy Farm to the suitable area within the 24-hectare company property to address the complaints of Tuba residents regarding the alleged inconveniences caused by the presence of the transfer station in the said area.
According to him, the local government remains aggressive in looking for a permanent solution to the city’s garbage disposal problem to significantly reduce the huge amount of public funds being spent for the hauling of the city’s residual waste to the Urdaneta sanitary landfill considering that hauling remains to be the most feasible but temporary solution to dispose the increasing volume of garbage generated in the barangays.
He emphasized that once all things will be in place, Itogon municipal officials will be included in the crafting of the appropriate plans for the realization of the put up of the city’s integrated solid waste disposal facility in the said area which could be used not only by the city but also the neighboring towns of La Trinidad, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay.
Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 mandates all local governments to close the operation of their open dumpsites and facilitate the put up of the environmentally acceptable controlled dump facilities for the protection of the state of the environment and the health of the people living in the said places around the country.
By Dexter A. See