December 2, 2022

The operator of the composting machines at the decommissioned dumpsite in Irisan has appealed to Baguio officials not to terminate the contract yet as the owner assured it will resolve the violations in the contract as reported by the General Services Office.

Rapid Process Inorganic Technology Innovation Corporation (Rapport) legal counsel Zaldy Von Francisco has informed the city council in its May 17 session that Rapport has asked for a meeting with Mayor Benjamin Magalong where company officials will present plans on how they will address the violations in the contract.

Francisco said Rapport diligently followed the terms of its contract since it started operating the environmental recycling system machines in 2019.

Problems started in 2020 when the government-imposed lockdowns impeding not only their business but also of the company’s partners who were supposed to buy compost fertilizers produced from the processing of biodegradable waste.

Contrary to the GSO’s report that Rapport committed gross violation of its contract, Francisco said gross violation only occur when one party refuses and continue to refuse to adhere to the terms of the contract. In the case of Rapport, the company is addressing the complaints and commits to follow the terms in its contract with the city government.

GSO head Eugene Buyucan is not inclined on allowing Rapport to continue operating, as he claimed that if Rapport failed to perform its obligations at present because of financial difficulties, it is also probable that the company might continue to encounter the same problems in the future.

GSO records show the company has unpaid electric and water bills amounting to P705,835. Rapport has reportedly settled half of the amount and has found a partner that will buy the compost fertilizer which continues to pile at the decommissioned dumpsite.

But Buyucan said this is not enough guarantee, as he maintains the contract with Rapport should be terminated and broached the possibility of the city government exploring new technology in the processing of biodegradable wastes.

He also said that the ERS machines which were purchased in 2011, have depreciated.

“The machines’ performance is not up to par anymore. Dati dry ang inilalabas (processed biodegradable waste) ngayon sludge na kaya mabaho; kaya kailangan ng boiler para mas matuyo pa,” Buyucan said, adding the use of additional equipment to dry the biodegradable contributed to the high electric consumption of Rapport. 

He added the community around the dumpsite and residents of Barangay Tadiangan, Tuba, Benguet have began complaining about the obnoxious smell from untreated waste water.

Apart from processing of biodegradable waste, maintenance of the ERS machines and transform the decommissioned dumpsite a model materials recovery facility, Rapport’s other obligation is to buy from the city and sell the compost fertilizer to a third party. For every kilo sold, the city will get a share of P3 P4 and P5 for 2019, 2020, and 2021 respectively.

Buyucan said the local government has not received a share from the sale of fertilizers as Rapport has yet to secure an authority to sell from the Department of Agriculture.

The city council deferred acting on the mayor’s request pending submission by the GSO of documents such as report on the ocular inspections conducted at the site and Rapport’s responses to the notices of violation.

The committee on laws is expected to submit its recommendation on May 24. – Rimaliza A. Opiña