February 5, 2023

A feasibility study for the privatization of the city’s solid waste management will start soon.

The city council passed a resolution requesting the executive department to conduct a feasibility study for the privatization and one-time collection of the city’s garbage from source to landfill.

The General Services Office (GSO) requested for funds for a feasibility study for the privatization of the city’s solid waste management to be conducted by a private consultancy firm.

The proposal of a cost-benefit analysis prepared by the City Planning and Development Office will serve as a framework in the conduct of the study.

The study, which will be conducted in four months, aims to find if the privatization of the city’s solid waste management is more viable and efficient than the current system.

Results of the study will map out the preferred strategy for the city’s solid waste management, which requires the assistance of one resource economist, one business development and entrepreneurship specialist, and one data analytics specialist.

The council resolution stated the plan to privatize may result in cost reduction and may bring about increased efficiency.

It added that the move to privatize the garbage collection has been proposed in the past, but was shelved.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought to the fore the need to revisit the clamor to privatize the collection of garbage in the city, the resolution stated.

Eugene Buyucan, GSO chief, said he is open to the idea of commissioning a private company for the city’s garbage collection.

 “If we bring in a private company, the city may be able to save money used for personal services, for the procurement of vehicles, and for maintenance,” Buyucan said.

He agreed that the move towards privatization may introduce more efficient services in garbage collection.

“Our current system is working. Our services are somehow satisfactory. Sadly, we have limited manpower resources and vehicles that is why our performance is not at its optimal level,” Buyucan said.

“A private company works efficiently because it is performance-based and it can always employ more workers to meet the demands of the job,” he added.

He expressed support to the council’s request to conduct a feasibility study first before arriving at a decision.

“If the feasibility study proves that this move will improve the delivery of public service, then we will support it.” “We would not jump right away into privatization. The feasibility study will guide the city in its policy-making. The prevailing assumption is that privatization will be advantageous as it may be more efficient and practical, but our approach in our decisions has to be scientific and scholarly,” Buyucan added. – Jordan G. Habbilin