By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — The municipal council of La Trinidad, the capital town of Benguet province passed a resolution asking the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to open a temporary residual containment area while waiting for the completion of their engineered sanitary landfill.
Councilor Roderick Awingan, author of the resolution, said the municipal government can no longer afford to pay for the hauling of their garbage to Capas, Tarlac. He added that the municipality even have a standing unpaid hauling fees amounting to around P5.9 million.
“The hauler already issued a notice that they would stop hauling our garbage if we do not pay our balance,” Awingan said.
La Trinidad is paying M.A. Camilo Freight Services P1,732,500 a month for hauling out garbage. M.A. Camilo is the same company contracted by Baguio City to haul out the city’s garbage.
It can be recalled that the town government decided to haul out its garbage after cracks were seen at the retaining wall of its Alno dump in 2013 because it could no longer carry the accumulated garbage.
La Trinidad produces 90 tons of garbage per day; 60% of which are biodegradable the rest are residual.
Awingan said only residuals are being hauled out because their ESL at Barangay Alno is still under construction. He explained that most of the biodegradable waste are vegetable trimmings form the vegetable trading post. “But we have been managing our biodegradable waste at the Alno dump,” he said.
“Whereas, effort to manage the garbage problem problem of this municipality, there is a need to introduce an immediate temporary solution or establish a collective and collaborative approach on providing solutions to the persisting problem,” Awingan’s resolution said.
According to Awingan, the Alno ESL Cell 3, which will contain residuals is being constructed and is expected to be operational by December.
Mayor Romeo Salda said they have already bid P4 million for additional hauling services and another P2 million for tipping services to continue with the hauling. He said they will stretch the amount which came from the supplemental budget until December which is the expected completion of their ESL.
He said the Bids and Awards Committee and the Accounting Office are still working out the best option to pay the hauling fees due the M.A.Camilo hauling.
Salda said that the previous administration did not allocate funds for the hauling of garbage from April 16 to July 15. He said after the P6.2 million-contract, which started on January and ended on April 15, no amount was appropriated to cover the succeeding months.
Hauling is the only option for La Trinidad to resolve its garbage woes until the model landfill in Alno is completed, Salda stated.
In July the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) tried to haul its own garbage to Tarlac and discovered that the town can save as much as P907, 500 per month if it hauls on its own. Unfortunately, two dump trucks broke down and is ongoing repair according to the mayor.
He added by 2017, they will appropriate funds to buy additional dump trucks for the LGU to haul on its own. # nordis.net