CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama wants the representative of “Paglaum Basurero,” a non-government organization that sits as one of the members of the Solid Waste Management Board (SWMB), to be out of the body.
This, following the controversy that the group is facing on the alleged garbage collection fee they are getting from the private establishments without an authority from the City Government.
“I want basurero (garbage collector) but I don’t want a basurero that gets into trouble with the City Government,” Rama told reporters.
In his regular news conference yesterday, Rama said he already made a directive to lawyer Janesis Ponce who sits as his representative in SWMB that “Paglaum Basurero” should be out from the board.
However, before the mayor made the announcement yesterday, Francis Paragas, the chairman of “Paglaum Basurero” already made his voluntary resignation.
“After yesterday’s speech of Councilor (Gerardo) Carillo and the statement of Councilor (Nida) Cabrera that my appointed position results to conflict of interest, please consider anytime that I am resigning from the board,” read the text message Paragas sent to Ponce.
In a privilege speech during Wednesday’s regular session, Carillo pointed out the matter to the Council.
Paragas said he can better serve the public in his private capacity.
Ponce, for his part, said he accepted the resignation of Paragas, to avoid conflict of interest.
“We don’t know yet who will replace him, but it should come from the recycling industry as stated under the ordinance,” Ponce said.
On the issue of the private garbage haulers, Ponce clarified that they did not tap their help in collecting the waste from the private establishments and other institutions, saying that it is the “prerogative” of the management to patronize them.
“This is also to clarify that the board is not endorsing or had given any authority to a private garbage haulers,” he said.
Ponce said the City cannot also compel the private garbage haulers from not doing the business because the City Government has no clear regulation on the matter.
“This will serve as a challenge to the Council that they should come up with a legislation that will monitor the activity of private garbage haulers,” he said.
With a clear regulation, Ponce said, the City can regulate the private garbage haulers and can monitor all their activities, such as their dumping sites.
Ponce said the Council has to revisit also the garbage collection ordinance of the City because it has yet to be updated since it was passed in 1991.
So far, the City is only collecting P800 annual fee to all the establishments for their garbage collection, while the City has been paying P700 for every dump they made at the Consolacion landfill.
“They have to revisit it to make sure nga dili ta alkanse (that we are not losing),” Ponce added.