Organic demonstration areas in city eyed

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BAGUIO CITY  – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance designating the Rose Garden of Burnham Park, Rizal Park and the landscape area fronting the City Hall building as demonstration areas showcasing the use of organic materials derived from the city’s Environmental Recycling system (ERS) and sewage treatment plant (STP) operations as fertilizers.\

The ordinance authored by Councilor Elaine D. Sembrano stated it shall be the policy of the local government to promote the use of environmentally-sound methods and sustainable practices that maximize the utilization of valuable resources and encourage resource recovery, conservation, and utilization, and the designation of the Rose Garden in Burnham Park, Rizal Park and the landscape area in front of the City Hall building is primarily to utilize the same as testing, experimentation or demonstration area to show the effects or results of using the organic fertilizers produced by the ERS and the sludge taken out from the city’s STP, in the growing, cultivation and maintenance of ornamental plants, flowers and foliages in the designated parks.

The ordinance added the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) will be tasked to implement the pertinent provisions of the local legislative measure and the activities that are contained in its provisions shall be incorporated in the parks management and the national greening program under the said agency.

Further, the CEPMO shall formulate a program to apply for the use of the compost materials produced by the ERS as fertilizer to supplement planting substrates or soil in the growing and maintenance of ornamental plants and foliages within the said parks in lieu of inorganic fertilizers, likewise, for the gathering and processing of sludge or silt from the city’s sewerage treatment plant into organic fertilizer for the purpose of the measure.

The program shall include, among others, a schedule of fertilizer application according to quality, volume, frequency, mixture, land type, and other related aspects to facilitate monitoring and as basis for the evaluation of the performance of the ERS compost and STP sludge as organic fertilizers.

To aid and determine the effectivity and efficiency of the ERS compost and STP sludge as organic fertilizers, the CEPMO will be authorized to enter into a limited partnership or cooperative arrangement with any duly registered entity engaged in organic fertilizer production as its primary product and with the academe for the scientific study and evaluation of the ERS compost and STP sludge as organic fertilizers.

No inorganic fertilizer, soil or plant growth enhancer, pest control chemicals or similar inorganic substances or solutions shall be used in the growing, cultivation and maintenance of park plants in the designated demonstration sites.

The annual budget of the CEPMO under its Parks and Forest and Forest Management Services shall be adjusted accordingly to provide for allocations for the implementation of the local legislative measure.

Ordinance No. 18, series of 2016 otherwise known as the Environment Code of the City of Baguio provides that the local government commits to steadfastly implement comprehensive, sustainable development practices to protect, conserve, preserve and mitigate ensuing environmental concerns of its natural resources. By Dexter A. See

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