Solution to Baguio, Itogon rift on landfill eyed

Local officials expressed optimism that they will be able to strike a realistic agreement with their counterparts in the municipality of Itogon relative to the plan of the city government to put up its proposed integrated solid waste disposal facility within a 29.22-hectare portion of the Antamok open pit area owned by the Benget Corporation.

Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said that he is confident that Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangadan will be attending their scheduled meeting anytime after the latter failed to appear during their initial meeting that was set last week and only his representative was present that time.

Of the 29.22-hectare portion of the Antamok open pit area that was conveyed to the local government by BC management through a deed of usufruct, the local chief executive said that the sanitary landfill component of the integrated solid waste disposal facility is feasible to be constructed in the 5.11-hectare area that was inspected by technical personnel of the city government, the Environmental Management Bureau, Mines and Geosciences Bureau and Benguet Corporation.

Based on the earlier joint inspection that was conducted by the same technical personnel from the concerned government agencies and the local government, no area within the 24.11 hectares of the Antamok open pit area qualified to be a suitable area for the city’s proposed integrated solid waste disposal facility because most portions of the property are located within a 300-meter distance from a body of water.

Domogan claimed that BC will also be giving to Itogon some 11 hectares of its property in the area through a similar deed of usufruct a part from the 9,000 square meters that it earlier gave to the municipal government which is now being used by the municipal government as its temporary residual containment area.

Being part of the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) growth area, he explained that the local governments need to extend the appropriate assistance to each other to guarantee the prevalence of a symbiotic relationship among the local officials, especially in charting their development projects beneficial to their constituents.

According to him, the city’s integrated solid waste disposal facility will not only be used by Baguio City but it will also be made available for the solid waste disposal requirements of other municipalities in Benguet for the said local governments to come out with a permanent solution to their garbage disposal woes.

For the city, Domogan claimed that the realization of the put up of the facility will put an end to the hauling of the city’s residual waste outside its area of jurisdiction considering that it is being brought to the Urdaneta City landfill through a private hauler from its temporary staging area within a portion of the Baguio Dairy Farm.

He explained that without the establishment of the facility, hauling of residual waste outside the city remains to be the doable option to prevent the occurrence of a garbage crisis that could affect the image of the city as a premier tourist destination. - Dexter A. See