Mayor linked to garbage 'kickbacks'-A A +A
Friday, November 19, 2010
ALLEGATIONS linking the Baguio City mayor to kickbacks from the purchase of two garbage recycling machines have surfaced.
In his regular Ugnayang Panglungsod press conference last Thursday, Mayor Mauricio Domogan denied allegations that he favored the Japanese supplier of a recycling machine instead of local suppliers.
To recall, the City Council affirmed Monday the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Domogan and ProTech Machinery Corporation of Japan.
The mayor said that he is only concerned with solving Baguio's garbage crisis and has no personal interest in the project.
He further said he can prove to the public that he did not receive any "commission" within the purchase of the machine.
"That is the problem in our country. People love intrigue, critique, prejudge [or] make statements that are not really true," Domogan said
He reiterated that his intention in buying the machine is to end the tedious process of hauling the city's garbage to Tarlac. According to him, the city government has spent P200 million in the two years the city has been transporting its garbage to a landfill in Capas, Tarlac.
Domogan thanked the City Council members for confirming the MOA, saying the confirmation is a big move in addressing Baguio's garbage dilemma.
Asked about councilors who voted against the MOA, Domogan said there is no point in attacking them because they have their reasons for doing so. What matters, he said, is that the MOA has been affirmed and what everyone must do is to move forward.
Domogan has announced that the environmental recycling machines will arrive in the Philippines on Nov. 28. ProTech will reportedly have representatives in Baguio by Dec. 2, together with Japanese technicians for the installation of the machines.
The machines' manufacturers, with the aid of the city's technical staff, are expected to have the two units mounted by the first week of December.
ProTech further guaranteed the machines will be installed and will be operational before Christmas in accordance with the city's timetable.
According to Domogan said installation site in Irisan is ready. "We are glad because the company said [it] will immediately start hauling residuals and garbage even if the machines are not yet operational," he said.
The city produces 166 tons of garbage, 66 percent of which are biodegradable. With the environmental recycling system (ERS), 48 percent of the biodegradable waste will be composted. The 18 percent residuals will be composted through the traditional method, or turon style, in the meantime.
The machine can then compost the remaining 28 percent in just 45 minutes.
With the 109 tons of biodegradable waste composted, Baguio will no longer need to haul its garbage to Tarlac, added Domogan.
Meanwhile, the recyclables will be managed by sorters in Irisan. The plan will be favorable to the people because they are considered partners of both the city and the ProTech Machinery Corporation in managing the recyclables, the mayor said.
The mayor said the sorters are given options to sell the recyclables to anyone or to the corporation, though at a lower price. "It is good for them because their recyclables will not be stocked [for] long because there are ready buyers."
In composting, the machines will produce hybrid fertilizers which the city can then sell for P12 per kilo. The company can also buy the fertilizers for six to eight pesos per kilo.
According to the MOA, if the company fails to do their job, they will be fined P2,500 per ton of uncollected garbage daily until the city is cleared of all the residuals.
Finally, Domogan expresses confidence that the city's 2011 budget proposal and goal of not allotting money for hauling will be achieved. (Raziel Atienza)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on November 20, 2010.