BAGUIO CITY – Some six hundred forty-four pigs were recorded by the members of the newly created Task Force Piggeries present in five barangays of the city that contribute to the worsening pollution of the Balili river as most of the pig owners directly dump their animal waste on the tributaries of the river system.
Regional director Reynaldo S. Digamo of the Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR) said of the recorded pig population, 488 are said to be pigs ready for disposal while 188 are piglets.
Further, Digamo, who is a member of the Task Force Piggeries, claimed that Gibraltar recorded the highest number of pig population with 254, followed by Pacdal with 174, Outlook Drive – 111, St. Joseph Village – 81 and Lualhati – 24.
He said members of the task force will continue their regular inspections to ascertain the presence of piggeries in the city’s barangays within the tributaries of the Balili river to remind the piggery owners to start disposing their pigs as piggeries in residential areas in urban centers is prohibited by law pursuant to the law that created the Housing Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).
“We understand the predicament of the piggery owners that pig-raising is their major source of livelihood but it must be emphasized that there is also a law that bans this activity in urban centers. We constantly remind the pig owners to start looking for alternative sources of livelihood because the task force is inclined to recommend to the local chief executive the dismantling of the piggeries within a reasonable time,” Digamo stressed.
The EMB-CAR official noted that most of the piggeries do not have septic tanks initial animal waste disposal facility and the animal waste are directly dumped into the tributaries of the Balili river, resulting to the worst water quality of the river system within the area of Teachers Camp where the recorded water quality is more than 800 billion most probable number (MPN) for 100 milliliter.
Earlier, Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan issued Administrative Order No. 43, series of 2018 creating the Task Force Piggeries purposely to inventory the number of piggeries in the barangays within the tributaries of the Balili river and to make the appropriate recommendations on how to deal with the piggery owners pursuant to existing laws, rules and regulations.
Under the said order, the task force is given 90 days from its creation to submit its findings and recommendations to the City Mayor for information, and further needed action.
The task force is chaired by the City Environment and Parks Management officer, with the City Veterinarian, representatives from the EMB-CAR, and the HLURB-CAR, among others as members, and that the regular inspections in the concerned barangays are reportedly done every Thursdays and Fridays depending on the availability of the personnel from the concerned offices in charge of the inspection pursuant to the marching orders from the local chief executive to help in reducing the pollutants of the river system.
By Dexter A. See