March 3, 2024

The City Environment and Parks Management Office commended eight barangays in the city for achieving a zero hog-raising activity by residents in their areas of jurisdiction as of Jan. 10.

Barangays Pinsao Pilot, Holyghost Extension, Leonila Hill, Ambiong, Brookspoint, Dizon-Manzanillo, Happy Homes, and Pinget were able to comply with the city government’s ban on hog-raising and closure of piggeries.

Cepmo Head Rhenan Diwas hopes other barangays where backyard hog-raising is practiced will cease their operations since piggeries are not allowed in highly urbanized cities like Baguio as per the city’s Environment Code, Clean Air Act, Philippine Water Act, and the Magna Carta for Homeowners and Homeowners Associations.

Residents who continue to violate laws and regulations prohibiting hog-raising in the city will be sanctioned with the demolition of pigpens, confiscation of hogs, and filing of criminal charges.

Sanitary engineer Sofronio Pascua of Cepmo said even with septic tanks as a repository of pig refuse, the city implemented a total ban on hog-raising since the city sewer facility can only process domestic waste, not industrial waste.

“Once the piggery septic tank is full, where will they dump it? Naturally to the river, and this is an environmental hazard,” Pascua said.

Previous reports from environmental agencies showed that Baguio’s rivers contain high forms of coliform which was later deduced to open sewer discharge and hog-raising activities near easements and tributaries of water bodies.

The city, however, did not deprive backyard hog-raisers of their source of livelihood since alternative livelihood programs such as rabbitry, livestock farming, hydroponics and vegetable farming were implemented by the City Veterinary and Agriculture Office and other line agencies.

Before the city implemented the total closure of piggeries in 2020, the city’s piggery population was at more than 700. The number dwindled to more than 200 towards the deadline set by the city in January 2020.

Cepmo continues to monitor and issue closure notices to a number that still insist on operating 27 barangays out of the 128 barangays in the city. – Jessa Mardy P. Samidan