New program on water pollution pushed

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Friday, February 8, 2013


MAYOR Mauricio Domogan recently ordered the City Environment and Parks Management Office (Cepmo) to cause for the immediate plugging of sewer lines directly discharging wastes in several waterways in Baguio City.

Domogan said the City Government has constantly reminded households and businesses directly discharging their wastes into creeks and river tributaries to build their own septic tanks or connect with the city Sewerage Treatment Plant.

Cepmo department head Cordelia Lacsamana said they are slowly moving forward toward encouraging households to construct their own septic tanks or connect with the city’s sewer lines instead of discharging liquid and solid wastes in the city’s water ways.

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Among the most common wastes dumped in headwaters leading to the Balili, Bued, Galiano and Ambalanga rivers are liquid, solid and construction wastes, Lacsamana said.

Although meeting a few setbacks and resistance from the public, Lacsamana said existing water dialogues with communities are slowly gaining positive results in enabling residents to realize the importance of cleaning the waterways for the environment.

Through the Salaknib Ti Waig program, or “guardians of rivers” program of the city, the Cepmo chief said they are increasing efforts together with private partners in rehabilitating the city’s inland waterways through various water protection endeavors.

Last year, inland waterway protection and pollution prevention activities such as clean-up and monitoring activities yielded some 1,857 sacks or 37.13 tons of mixed solid wastes collected from waterways participated by some 969 government employees and volunteers.

Among the areas cleaned-up are some 17.75 kilometers of the Sagudin-Balili river sections and some three-kilometer stretch of the Bued River, which she said will be expanded in other tributaries in the city soon.

From October to December last year, some 28 barangays within the Balili River basin and 331 barangay indigent-beneficiaries participated in the cash for work and waterway clean-up program amounting to P233,000 in local government funds given away as salaries of clean-up workers.

The Cepmo also focused on some areas discharging pig manures in city waterways by providing these households with trainings in vermin composting and biogas and methane-capture technologies.

Some 17.75 kilometers of inland waterways within 28 barangays has also been identified for adoption to include all inland waterways in four rivers passing through the city.

She said the Balili River, among the first waterways that was given special attention, is currently being monitored by documenting Biological Oxygen Demand together with other tributaries.

The city has also coordinated with neighboring La Trinidad and other local governments in building partnerships to protect tributaries passing through the city.

In Monday’s flag raising program, city officials lauded private partners who constantly join clean-up and monitoring activities. These partners are the Rotary Clubs in Baguio, Saint Louis University, University of the Philippines Baguio, NIIT-Baguio, Goshenland, Pines City Colleges, Baguio City Academy Colleges, Benguet Electric Cooperative, MJ Gas Corporation, Baguio Regreening Movement and the Baguio Heritage Foundation.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 09, 2013.

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