By Dexter A. See
BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau said there nothing wrong with the approval of the city’s 10-year solid waste management plan by the National Solid Waste Management Commission even without endorsement of the city council and regional office of the agency.
Some councilors earlier said the plan needed the city council’s approval as it concerned a vital concern of Baguio.
Reynaldo S. Digamo, EMB Cordillera regional director, however said submission of the solid waste plan by a group of consultants commissioned by the city government to conduct waste analysis and characterization study (WACS) to the NSWMC was approved by the Commission.
Digamo said the plan was appropriate considering the Commission found it in order.
“We are not inclined to question the wisdom of the members of the Commission in approving the city’s 10-year solid waste management plan even without our endorsement (by the city council). We believe there is merit in the approval made by the Commission that is why the plan was approved,” Digamo said.
He added it was also clear in the letter sent by the Commission to the local government that the city can still introduce amendments to the plan and re-submit it to the NSWMC for action.
Digamo said while there were procedural lapses in approval of the city’s 10-year solid waste management plan, it is the merit of the plan that matters and it is what the NSWMC considered in approving the plan even without the endorsements from the agency.
Under the approved plan, the city will construct centralized materials recovery facility, engineered sanitary landfill, anaerobic digester, waste-to-energy plant, environmental recycling system (ERS) machines, health and medical waste treatment plant, and special waste treatment plant.
The city council is still deliberating passage of the city’s 10-year solid waste management plan.
Under the provisions of Republic Act 9003 or Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, all local governments are required to prepare their 10-year solid waste management plans as blueprint for the implementation of their solid waste disposal initiatives geared to solve their garbage concerns.
The city government’s 10-year solid waste management plan 2007-2016 was not approved by the NSWMC.
The plan for 2015-2024 was approved by the Commission after finding merit in its contents.
Part of the city’s 10-year solid waste management plan is establishment of an integrated solid waste disposal facility that will be put up in the city-owned 139-hectare property in Sto. Tomas School area although there are plans to put up the facility in the Antamok open pit site in Itogon, Benguet.