DAGUPAN CITY — At least 30 scavenger families who had been living within the dump site in Bonuan Gueset rejoiced when they were awarded their respective core shelter houses located in Sitio Korea in Bonuan Binloc here on Tuesday.
Funded jointly by the Department of Social Welfare and Development from its Bottoms Up Budgeting (BUB) program of PHP2.1 million, it was boosted by a 30 percent counterpart from the city government.
Mayor Belen Fernandez and DSWD Region 1 Director Marcelo Nicomedes Castillo turned over the core houses to the recipients in a simple ceremony in Sitio Korea.
Each core house costs PHP7,000 and all were built under the city’s “Maayos na Bahay, Maunlad na Buhay'”
Noting that the 30 scavanger families are living in most squalid condition and bearing the ordeal of smelling the stench of decaying garbage 24/7, Mayor Fernandez made representation with the DSWD so these families can be resettled to another area.
While the core houses were being constructed, the city government at the same time built a day care center and a health center in anticipation of the needs of residents there as well as those from the adjacent areas.
During the ceremony, each scavanger family thanked Director Castillo and Mayor Fernandez when they handed to them the key to their respective houses.
“We are supporting Dagupan City because they are helping people and we are one with that. We are even ready to provide assistance again relative to the city’s plan of providing these families with livelihood,” said Castillo.
“In fact, the mayor has given these families more than enough because I noticed that the city also built a day care center and a health center in this area for these families to take advantage of and now, she is providing them employment in the government,” he added.
In order to wean away these families from the dumpsite, Mayor Fernandez employed some of them as street sweepers so they can have an alternative source of income.
In that ceremony, Mayor Fernandez also announced that she is now closing the more than 50-year dump site as she revealed that she is now working for the establishment of a waste-to-worth facility that can convert garbage into diesel fuel.
However, in the meantime that the waste-to-worth facility is not up yet, the material recovery facilities of every barangay will be maximized to take care of solid wastes in different areas.
She said the city government is under evaluation for the waste-to-worth project and if this is completed, a private company will build the waste-to-worth facility at no cost to the city government.
The city government will be in charge of collecting garbage from households and markets,estimated to reach 30 tons per day, for delivery to the facility.
Fernandez said the city is buying nine new dump trucks this year for its intensified garbage collection. Leonardo Micua/PNA-northboundasia.com