BAGUIO

Water district welcomes sewerage fee collection

BAGUIO CITY. (From left to right) Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo – Puyat, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año and DENR Assistant Secretary Jesus Enrico Moises Salazar, representing Secretary Roy Cimatu discuss the Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) rehabilitation plan during an ocular inspection January 10. A Baguio Water District official welcomed a plan to collect fee to help address the problem of Baguio’s sewerage system. (Photo by Jean Nicole Cortes)

IMPLEMENTATION of an updated collection fee for the city will help address the problem of Baguio’s sewerage system.

Engineer Salvador Royeca, Baguio Water District (BWD) general manager assured their readiness in collecting sewerage fees once an ordinance is passed amending the existing sewerage collection fee.

“We could really run the sewer system of the city and it is not a problem on our part as long as it would be turned over to us by the local government unit through a city ordinance because like what we said previously, there is a conflict between the local government code versus the clean water act. And when I attended the last hearing on the proposed ordinance on septage management, the concerns particularly on the collection of fees were mentioned,” Royeca said.

Earlier, then Mayor Mauricio Domogan admitted the out-datedness of the city’s existing sewerage and garbage fees which is not sufficient to sustain existing initiatives to address the sewerage and garbage disposal problem of the local government.

“BWD have already written a letter to the LGU signifying our willingness to collect for them because we have a ready system so that eventually, when this function would be turned to us, everything would be in place. We really need to collect in order to sustain the operations of our existing sewerage system and at the same time manage the septage here in the city particularly the septic tanks,” Royeca added.

Under the city’s environment code industrial-sized laundry facilities are charged P1,500 as sewerage fees while small laundry businesses pay P500 monthly.

For lodging houses, P150 is collected per toilet bowl and kitchen sink of boarding houses and dormitories compared to the P60 being paid by hotels, condominiums and hospitals, private residences and apartment units, restaurants, eateries, franchised food outlets, cocktail lounges, night clubs, including establishments with shower rooms such as spa, gym, and businesses providing bath services.

Banks, grocery stores, variety stores, department stores and offices for personal services were given a monthly rate of P75 per toilet bowl while P40 for schools and universities.

One-time sewer connection permit fee for residential buildings is P500 while commercial buildings is pegged at P1,000.

BWD admitted that it has been taking them a while to manage septic tanks in the city.

The proposed ordinance regarding the collection of sewerage fees is envisioned to answer the problem of sewer in the city.

The 32 year-old Baguio Sewage Treatment Plant (BSTP) has over 10,000 structures connected with eight communal septic tanks being serviced.

On the average, the city collects about P18 million form sewerage fees annually but has an operating expense of P23 million.


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