TUBA, Benguet — Residents of this first-class town are up in arms against the newly operational Baguio garbage transfer station in nearby barangay Dontogan on Marcos Highway, saying the facility poses health hazards to the town residents, especially the children.
The Baguio city government started using the waste transfer station in the middle of January.
The Philippine News Agency (PNA) obtained a copy Wednesday of Municipal Resolution No. 18 of the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) of Benguet’s Tuba municipality, which supports the Upper Poblacion residents’ and other townfolks’ petitions against neighbor Baguio City’s garbage transfer station, specifically, at the portion of the Dairy Farm in Barangay Dontogan, Baguio City.
The local legislative body of Tuba, chaired by its Vice Mayor Clarita Sal-ongan, found “the petition to have valid reasons.”
The Tuba SB had also endorsed the petition to the office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Cordillera for appropriate action.
Based on the petition of Barangay Upper Poblacion, residents of the area claimed that “they are affected by the new staging /transfer station areas of garbage collected from Baguio City.”
The petitioners said there was no public consultation conducted by the city government with the residents of Poblacion, Tuba on the establishment of the garbage staging and transfer station area.
In a petition paper, residents of the barangay said the staging and dumping area are near their residential houses, business establishments, and elementary and secondary schools, posing danger to the health of the residents, primarily the students.
They claimed the accumulated garbage could greatly affect the environment, as natural springs in the area are the residents’ sources of potable drinking water.
In a telephone interview with the PNA on Wednesday evening, Baguio City information officer Dexter See said the property is owned by the Department of Agriculture (DA), which had allowed the city to use it.
He said DA-Cordillera endorsed the clearance permit to use the area to DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol and his signature is being awaited. The area is currently being used by the city with the assistance of the city contracted hauler that brings the garbage to the engineered sanitary landfill in Urdaneta, Pangasinan. PNA-northboundasia.com