■ Jane B. Cadalig
Baguio City will spend P170 million to haul out its residual waste in 2024.
The amount is even lower than the budget projected by the General Services Office next year since the volume of residuals generated increased after the office proposed the amount.
GSO Head Eugene Buyucan said the office projected it would need P194M for environment and sanitary services or the hauling and tipping fees of garbage delivered to the sanitary landfill in Capas, Tarlac.
Councilor Peter Fianza asked why the GSO proposed only P170M for environment and sanitary services when the office is expecting that more funds will be needed.
Buyucan said when they proposed the P170M budget for hauling and tipping fees, the city was generating 190 to 200 tons of residual waste per day.
“But in August, the volume generated suddenly increased to 250 tons per day and we expect this to continue because it is the peak season of tourist arrivals in the coming months,” Buyucan told members of the council during a special session where City Hall offices presented their annual budget.
Buyucan said at 250 tons per day, the monthly allocation is P16M in which P11M is used to pay for hauling and P5M is used for tipping fee.
Despite increase in waste volume this year, Buyucan said the GSO is hoping this will be reduced with the establishment of a centralized materials recovery facility next year. However, this will materialize only midyear of 2024.
He added with the order from the executive department for barangays to be strict in implementing waste segregation at source, the volume of wastes hauled out to the Capas landfill will be reduced.
“We also hope that our continuous engagement with restaurants and stakeholders at the public market, we can reduce the volume of garbage generated, which as we observe on the ground continues to increase,” he said.
The council approved the GSO’s proposed budget of P449,377,171 for 2024. From the office’s annual allocation, P358,097,171 is for maintenance and operating expenses of which the P170M for the environment services or the hauling of garbage is allotted from.