Tuba wants Baguio trash out

IN A resolution, the Municipal Council of Tuba unanimously urged Mayor Ignacio Rivera to take appropriate action in the Baguio garbage staging area at the Dairy Farm that reportedly affects residents of Barangay Poblacion.

Tuba Vice Mayor Clarita Sal-ongan said the Council has unanimously approved a resolution requesting the mayor to stop the operations of the transfer facility.

"The members of Sangguniang Bayan (Municipal Council) authorized me to write the mayor for appropriate action for the stoppage of the transfer area, this is a national road and it is the city of Baguio who benefits and it is not Tuba, and here comes their garbage an eyesore to the passerby’s thinking that we are the one's dumping waste well in fact it is the city of Baguio."

Sal-ongan said with the stench and scattered waste from the transfer area the problem would continue as the volume of garbage will double during Panagbenga season with the influx of visitors flocking the city.

The vice mayor said in her own opinion setting aside the boundary dispute of Baguio and Tuba regarding the area, the mere presence of the transfer facility would still affect the nearby residents of Tuba.

On January 23, the Council gave its backing on a petition by barangay Poblacion residents on the issue of Baguio garbage with 200 signing the manifesto of opposition.

Barangay Poblacion Captain Oliver Paus during the special meeting of the council members of Poblacion approved the resolution endorsing the petition.

“The residents of Upper Poblacion Tuba, Benguet along the national highway are most affected residents near the new staging area of garbage collected from the city of Baguio.”

Petitioners said the city of Baguio started to dump truckloads of garbage January 13, at lower Dontogan along Marcos Highway saying there was no public consultation conducted.

The petition further reads "The nearby elementary and secondary schools are located just 120 meters away from the staging area; hence, it affects the health of our young learners who stay in the schools for the whole day.”

Petitioners added that the water sources of the residents of the lower sitios could be greatly affected including the springs located below with the accumulated garbage of the said staging area.

In an interview, Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan said they are continuously complying and asking the help of the constituents of proper waste segregation.

"We have to comply; by all means the stench coming from the wastes should not stay longer than 24 hours, within the maximum 24 hours all wastes must be transferred to avoid."

The mayor added the staging area is a temporary solution but could last for at least one year.

With the upcoming flower festival the mayor added there would be a great number of people and waste volume, "The city is prepared to pick up the waste with the influx of garbage in the city."

Domogan said last month the survey team of the City Government accompanied the Benguet Corporation which holds title of the 12 hectare lot for the city of Baguio to utilize for 25 years in Antamok open pit.

"First, if we have agreed on the exact location we will sign the contract of usufruct agreement," added the mayor.

Environmental Management Bureau-Cordillera regional director Reynaldo Digamo has received the petitions and requested the concerns raised to be immediately acted upon by the City Government.
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