BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on third and final reading a proposed ordinance establishing a septage management system in the city.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Elaine D. Sembrano states that the local government committees to improve or enhance health and sanitation, environment and economic conditions in the city and it shall implement measures to prevent and control water pollution to promote health and ensure a balanced ecosystem through the establishment of the comprehensive septage management program.
The ordinance adds that the provisions of the measure shall cover the territorial jurisdiction of the city and shall apply to structures that generate or produce domestic sewage and septage such as all residential structures including, but not limited to, an apartment, house or land on which another dwelling is located and used for residential purposes and shall include not only buildings, parts or units used solely as dwelling places, boarding houses, dormitories, rooms and bed spaces offered for rent by their owners, and also those used for home industries, retail stores and other business purposes of the owner and his or her family actually live therein and use it principally for dwelling purposes; commercial buildings or establishments, including, but not limited to restaurants, convenient stores, hardware stores, malls, groceries, markets, condominiums, hotels, resorts and recreational establishments; institutional building structures, including, but not limited to schools, colleges, and universities, hospitals and churches; industrial buildings or establishments, including, but not limited to factories and manufacturing plants and government buildings or establishments including, but not limited to, barangay halls and government offices.
The ordinance states that septic tanks and other acceptable on-site sanitation shall be the depository of all the sewage generated within the building or establishment and that the design and construction of septic tanks shall adhere to Section 143 of Ordinance No. 18, series of 2016 or the city’s Environment Code.
Moreover, other on-site sanitation must be water tight with primary treatment that will lower the biological oxygen demand by at least 50 percent and that it shall be accessible for dislodging by mobile service providers or service providers.
The ordinance explains that the administration and enforcement of the provisions of the measure for all buildings or establishments, facilities and plants is exclusively vested upon the local government and upon approval of the proposal, the city shall immediately promulgate the required implementing rules and regulations within a period of 6 months which will be subject to public consultations prior to publication.
The ordinance creates a City Septage Management Board that will act as a local special body and will be composed of the City Mayor as chairperson, with the representative from the City mayor’s Office as vice chairperson and representative from the City Council Committee on Health and Sanitation, Ecology and Environmental Protection, representative of the City Health Officer, representative of the City Environment and Parks Management Officer, representative of the City Building Official, representative of the City Engineer, representative of the City Treasurer and representative of the City Permits and Licensing Officer, DOH-CAR representative, Baguio Water District, EMB-CAR, DPWH-CAR, University of Baguio, University of the Cordillera, Liga ng mga Barangay, the Philippine Society of Sanitary Engineers and non-government organization or civil society groups involved in environmental management representatives as members.
By Dexter A. See