February 29, 2024

Baguio is not being shortchanged in terms of the fees it is paying to its garbage repository in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan, the General Services Office (GSO) assured.
GSO Chief Eugene Buyuccan said a system is in place to ensure that the tipping fee paid to the operator of the sanitary landfill in Urdaneta is commensurate with the volume of garbage delivered by the city’s trucks to the waste facility.
The city is paying a tipping fee of P550 per ton to the Urdaneta Waste Management, the operator of the sanitary landfill that accommodates 160 to 167 tons of garbage from Baguio City daily.
Buyuccan assured the amount is commensurate with the estimated volume of wastes loaded in every truck before it leaves the city.
“Before a garbage truck leaves the staging area, the estimated weight and the truck’s the license plate are recorded to make sure that the truck that left Baguio is the same one that paid the tipping fee at the Urdaneta landfill,” he said.
Buyuccan made the assurance when Councilor Michael Lawana raised the concern on the amount of tipping fees paid vis-a-vis the volume of garbage delivered to the Urdaneta waste facility.
Lawana said he was concerned about information reaching him that before the city’s dump trucks enter the landfill, recyclable wastes are added to the vehicles to increase the weight, which is the basis of the collection of tipping fees.
The city council summoned Buyuccan during its Jan. 13 session for clarification before members confirmed the memorandum of agreement between the city government and Urdaneta Waste Management.
“I am not against the contract. I am just concerned about the correctness of the tonnage (of the garbage) and the tipping fees paid,” Lawana said.
Buyuccan said that even if the estimated weight of garbage leaving the staging area within the Baguio Dairy Farm compound is higher, the tipping fees paid to the operator are still based on the actual weight when the truck reaches the sanitary landfill.
“We are not being shortchanged because the tipping fees paid are still based on the actual tonnage,” he said.
Upon the request of Mayor Benjamin Magalong, through his secretary, Engr. Felipe Puzon, Jr, the city council ratified the MOA, which allowed the Urdaneta Waste Management as the sole repository of Baguio’s wastes.
The contract was signed in January 2019 between former mayor Mauricio Domogan and management of the Urdaneta waste facility, but the confirmation by the previous members of the council was stalled, until the same was submitted again to the new administration for confirmation.
Baguio used to deliver its wastes to Capas, Tarlac in which it paid a hauling cost of P932 per ton. Management of the facility proposed to increase the tipping fee of P550 to P650 per ton, until Urdaneta proposed to accommodate Baguio’s wastes at lower hauling and tipping fees.
Buyuccan has earlier said the city government saved millions in hauling and tipping fees, when it accepted the offer of the Urdaneta landfill operator, which imposed a hauling fee of P745 per ton and a tipping fee of P550 per ton, aside from the fact that the Urdaneta waste facility is nearer than the landfill in Capas. – Jane B. Cadalig