BAGUIO CITY – The City Council deferred acting on a proposed ordinance regulating the operation and maintenance of public toilets and pay comfort rooms in the city until such time that the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) shall have completed the bidding procedures.
The local legislative body decided to await the outcome of the bidding process considering that a disqualified bidder for the operation of the public pay comfort rooms had reportedly filed a motion for reconsideration before the BAC which is now the subject of a thorough deliberation.
The city decided to bid out the operation and maintenance of public toilets and pay comfort rooms in various public places in the city after the expiration of all the contracts that was given to R&R Sanitary and Management Services, the lone operator of the clean comfort rooms, to ensure that the local government will not be short-changed with the renewal of the agreements.
It can be recalled that in 2001 the local government decided to privatize the operation and maintenance of the city’s public toilets located in various parks in the city and the city public market after concerned departments were not able to appropriately maintain the said public toilets to make the comfort rooms suitable for the greater interest of visitors and local residents.
The operation of pay public comfort rooms in different public places in the city received citations from not only the tourist department but also private business organizations who were satisfied with the cleanliness of the appropriately maintained comfort rooms.
Under the privatization of the public toilets the operator will be the one to shoulder the expenses of the improvement of the toilets and that it will operate the pay comfort rooms for a period of 15 years, after which the public toilets will be turned over to the local government for it to decide whether or not to bid out the continuous operation of the toilets by a private company.
Some local legislators claimed that the proposed ordinance regulating the operation of public toilets and pay comfort rooms has been overtaken by events considering that the BAC already bid out the said operation and maintenance of the toilets and is awaiting the award of the project to a winning bidder that will be determined in the future.
Aside from urinating, the public toilets also accommodate those interested to defecate or bathe with the payment of a reasonable fee charged by the operator who introduced the needed facelift of almost all comfort rooms around the city.
Local legislators expressed optimism that the BAC will be able to immediately settle whatever conflicts that emerged during the bidding process and award the project to the deserving winning bidder so that there will be continuity in the operation and maintenance of clean comfort rooms around the city which had been lauded by visitors and residents.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan admitted it will be difficult for the local government to take over the operation and maintenance of the public comfort rooms because the city does not have sufficient personnel to be assigned in the various public toilets around the city and the sufficient resources to guarantee the cleanliness of the toilets, thus, it is still best for the privatization of the toilets to allow a competent company to sustain the gains of the privatization.
By Dexter A. See