BAGUIO City Mayor Mauricio Domogan announced Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol approved the use of a 1-hectare portion of the Baguio Dairy Farm as the city’s temporary transfer station for the residual waste being hauled out of the city by a private hauler.

The local chief executive said that the local government is grateful to Secretary Piñol for increasing the land area from the previous 5,000 square meters to 1 hectare because it will allow the city’s garbage trucks and the trucks of the hauler to have more space to maneuver pursuant to the no touch ground policy being implemented in the hauling of the city’s residual waste.

“We are elated that Secretary Piñol handed his much awaited approval on the temporary use of the desired area as the city’s temporary transfer station while we are also working on the deed of usufruct with Benguet Corporation allowing the city to use some 24.11 hectares of its Antamok open pit for the proposed integrated solid waste disposal facility,” Domogan stressed.

Domogan underscored the local government is embarking on a multi-approach in solving the city’s garbage disposal woes with hauling of the city’s residual waste outside the city as a temporary solution considering that the city has no available land to host an engineered sanitary landfill (ESL), thus, the proposed integrated solid waste disposal facility in nearby Itogon, Benguet.

The mayor added the city is still awaiting the formal document that will be transmitted by the DA central office so that it will submit the same to the Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) for the processing of the required certificate of non-coverage before the issuance of the permit for the temporary use of the area as the city’s waste transfer station for a maximum period of one year.

Domogan underscored despite the issuance of the permit for the use of the area as a temporary transfer station of the city’s residual waste, the city remains sensitive to the plight of the residents living near the area, especially on the alleged noise pollution created by the trucks and the alleged foul odor emanating from the garbage in the area, thus, his offer to the Tuba municipal government to provide the people whom they want to help monitor the compliance of the city to the terms and conditions of the use of the area and will be compensated by the city remains to date.

Among the on-going improvements in the place being done by the city is the put up of the necessary comfort rooms, the construction of the appropriate drainage facilities around the area, the concreting of the surface and other infrastructures that will facilitate the speedy transfer of the residual waste from the garbage trucks to the trucks of the hauler.

Domogan explained the local government wants to showcase the area as an ideal transfer station which is possible within a populated area because of the institution of the appropriate facilities and amenities that will address the concerns raised on noise pollution and the foul odor emanating from the garbage being transferred from truck to truck.

The local government was constrained to seek permission from the DA central office allowing the use of the portion of the Dairy Farm as its temporary transfer station after a La Trinidad-based court ordered the closure of the private hauler’s temporary transfer station in Puguis, Longlong, La Trinidad, Benguet. (Dexter See)