April 18, 2024

The city council on Monday has approved Ordinance 36, s. 2020 or the Septage Management System Ordinance of Baguio.
The ordinance aims to prevent and control water pollution for the promotion of public health and a balanced ecosystem through the establishment of a comprehensive septage management program in view of findings that most of the residential and commercial buildings in the city are using septic tanks or on-site sanitation for their sewage treatment and disposal.
It applies to all residential, commercial, institutional, industrial, and government building/structures that generate or produce domestic sewage and septage. It includes portalets for lease or so called ecology toilets.
For a better and established septage management system, the ordinance requires all owners and administrative or agents of existing and new structures to have an approved “individual excreta and sewage disposal system” if they are unable to connect their sewer lines to the city’s sewerage system.
Liquid and/or sludge removed from septic tanks shall be transported by an accredited or authorized mobile service provider or service provider for disposal to the approved or accredited treatment facilities following Department of Health’s regulations. Each septage treatment facility is required to adopt the appropriate sludge and septage treatment process.
Aside from private accredited treatment facility, the city government shall operate and maintain septage treatment facilities and/or de-sludging services complying with the requirements pertaining to septage management or in a sanitary manner to avoid nuisance to the public.
Charges/fees for de-sludging or sludge removal from septic tanks including hauling of sludge to the sewage treatment plant is P4,000 for the first two cubic meters and an additional P600 for every cubic meter in excess of two cubic meters or a fraction thereof if the distance is equal or less than five kilometers or plus P800 if the distance is more than five kilometers or fraction thereof.
Delivery of sewage/sludge to the plant for treatment and disposal by accredited private contractors is P400 per cubic meter or fraction thereof.
The ordinance classifies and prohibits as grave offenses the dumping domestic sewage and/or septage or untreated sewage into the drainage system, bodies of water, agricultural fields, sewer collection system, and open areas; disposing solid wastes and other materials other than domestic sludge into septage treatment facilities and grounds, and de-sludging and transporting without the necessary clearances, certificates, and permits.
Collecting, transporting domestic sewage, and/or septage from outside Baguio and disposing the same within city-owned or authorized treatment facility in the city; using falsified manifest form for the collection, transport, and disposal; collecting, transporting, and disposing of wastes other than domestic sewage and/or septage; disposing without paying for the disposal fee; using transport vehicle/s not approved by the DOH; and declaring or providing false information in the manifest form.
Other grave offenses are advertisement of septic tank cleaning or siphoning services by persons not accredited by the DOH; lending environmental sanitation clearance, business permit, and other permits and clearances to other parties including accredited transport vehicles; use of transport vehicle other than the collection and transport of septage; hiring/availing the services of non-accredited or authorized mobile service provider or service provider by the owner and/or administrator or agents to de-sludge septic tank/s or on-site sanitation; and failure to ensure that the collected septage is disposed to an authorized treatment facility.
Those considered light, but punishable offenses are transporting of septage without a manifest form; failure to present manifest form prior to disposal of septage to the authorized treatment facility; and failure to secure accreditation with the city government of Baguio.
Other light offenses are failure to use personnel protective equipment by the service provider and/or its personnel, to complete the required information in the manifest form, to put markings on the transport vehicle such as company name, contact numbers and company logo on both sides, and to submit regular quarterly reports to the DOH and the Wastewaster, Water and Ambient Air Management Division of the Cepmo.
The grave offenses are punishable with fines of P5,000 on first offense; P5,000 plus suspension of business permit for six months on second offense; and P5,000 plus revocation of the business permit and recommendation for the revocation of the environmental sanitation clearance on third offense.
On other hand, penalties for the light offenses are P1,000; P2,000; and P5,000 on first, second and third offenses, respectively; and revocation of the business permit and recommendation for the revocation of the environmental sanitation clearance for the fourth offense.
A 10 percent discount from the total disposal fee shall be given to compliant owners/household who availed the services of the Cepmo.
The ordinance was submitted to the office of Mayor Benjamin Magalong for his signature.