BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-CAR) declared as feasible the city owned 139hectare public land in barangay Sto. Tomas School area for multipurpose use, including the proposed integrated solid waste disposal facility that the local government wants to put up in the area in order to significantly address the city’s solid waste disposal problem.
Helma Aboy, officer-in-charge of DENR-CAR’s land management division, said technical personnel from the agency and the city government jointly conducted an inspection in the property and found out that the 50-hectare area where the city desires to put up its integrated solid waste disposal facility is feasible for such purpose considering that the land is alienable and disposable.
“We consider the sporadic occupants of portions of the property as informal settlers but we found the proposed area for the integrated solid waste disposal facility as feasible for its intended purpose,” Aboy stressed.
Aside from using the 50-hectare portion of the city-owned property as the permanent site of its integrated solid waste disposal facility, the other portions of the property are being eyed for greenbelt areas while some portions are being proposed as site for the expansion of the already overcrowded Baguio cemetery.
Included in the integrated solid waste disposal facility will be an engineered sanitary landfill, a waste-to-energy facility, an anaerobic digester, the two Environmental Recycling System (ERS) machines, a medical and hospital waste facility among others.
Aboy said the suitability of the area for its desired purposes was able to be established that is why it is now up to the local government to deal with the informal settlers in order to prevent future problems once the projects will already commence in the said area.
It can be recalled that the family of the last Acting Mayor Virginia de Gia donated over 90 hectares of their purchased property in the area that was added up to the50 hectares of land owned by the city government which was earlier declared for public use and identified for city needs bringing to a total 139 hectares the area now owned by the local government in the area.
The de Guia family reportedly purchased the property that they donated to the city government from the Cariño family which has an existing ancestral land claim in the area.
Aboy cited the local government will have to contend with the supposed claimants and the informal settlers in order to guarantee the peaceful occupancy of the place and the subsequent realization of its desired multipurpose use for various portions of the property.
She welcomed the decision of the city government to establish the boundaries of the property and the start of fencing activities to prevent the expected mushrooming of informal settlers in the area who will be one of the hindrances for the realization of the city’s noble intention to establish its integrated solid waste disposal facility in the place.
The city government is currently on the process of updating its 10year solid waste management plan in order to incorporate the put up of the various desired solid waste disposal facilities in the city-owned property to put an end to the hauling of the city’s generated waste to the Capas, Tarlac sanitary landfill which has been going on for almost seven years now and raining the city’s resources to the tune of more or less P100 million annually. By Dexter A. See