Environment group mulls liability of Tuba, mall over dumping

THE Baguio Regreening Movement (BRM) believes the Municipality of Tuba in Benguet may have violated the environment code when it transported within Baguio City limits some 30 boxes of spoiled chicken meat earlier found under the Badiwan Bridge on Marcos Highway.

Tuba earlier asked the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Cordillera that they bury the contaminated perishable goods at the Baguio Dairy Farm, but the request was denied.

"If, for example, these contaminated chicken meat were to be dumped within Baguio, then the municipality has a responsibility. They may be penalized under the Revised Penal Code and even the city's environmental code," BRM chairman Erdolfo Balajadia said.

Last week, 30 boxes containing close to 105 pieces of chicken were dumped along Marcos Highway, prompting Tuba officials to seek the help of the DA to find a suitable burial site for the spoiled meat product.

Tuba Mayor Ignacio Rivera earlier stated the municipality’s move to ask officials of a mall operating in Baguio City to explain their process regarding spoilage of perishable goods and to identify their supplier or hauler.

Karen Nobres, public relations manager of the mall, said they asked suppliers to take out food not fit for human consumption as part of the daily standard operating procedure and commitment to food safety standards. The supplier may not have disposed the item properly.

"We will remind them to observe proper standard of disposal in compliance to the waste management program of the local government," Nobres added.

Meanwhile, the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) assured monitoring on the process Tuba will take regarding the indiscriminate dumping of perishable contaminated products.

EMB Solid Waste Management head Rick Dangiw said they will send a letter to the mayor of Tuba to further investigate the case.

"We are suggesting to the Municipality of Tuba to give notice to the establishment to dispose of the contaminated chickens properly since they have their own disposal system," Balajadia added.
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