June 14, 2024

Non-compliance with a seemingly minor but an important requirement to safeguard health and the environment is preventing homeowners of Barangay Pinget from legally possessing the lands they are currently occupying.
The United Pinget Homeowners Association (UPHA) has sought the assistance of the city council on how they can comply with one of the requirements needed for their application to have their lands titled in their names.
The Baguio Water District (BWD) has been asking the Pinget homeowners to construct septic tanks that comply with the standards of the City Building and Architecture Office (CBAO) before the UPHA gets the water distribution utility’s favorable endorsement to the group’s application for a proclamation to segregate their area from the Buyog Watershed, which was proclaimed as a reservation in 1992.
The watershed is also one of the major sources of water for Baguio City.
Victor Balidoc, representative of the homeowners’ group, told members of the council most of the houses have a hard time complying with the requirement because most of the houses were constructed before Buyog was proclaimed as a watershed reservation and their spaces can no longer allow adjustments to meet CBAO’s requirement of a standard septic tank.
“Those constructing new houses can comply with the CBAO’s requirement, which is four-chamber septic tanks, but the houses that were built before cannot comply,” he said.
Councilor Michael Lawana has asked CBAO for a possible engineering intervention to address the concerns of the homeowners.
CBAO Engr. IV Stephen Capuyan said the homeowners can use plastic septic tanks, but the city needs to construct a sewer line where the waste water from the Pinget houses could pass through.
He said a possible alternative would be for houses to cluster and construct a septic tank for five or 10 structures, but such may not be feasible because of lack of a space for the facility.
He said the better alternative would be for individual households to avail of the plastic septic tanks and for the city government to build a sewer to gather the wastewater from the houses.
Capuyan said plastic septic tanks are cheaper than the construction of four-chamber septic tanks and is more feasible to address the concern of residents.
Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda has moved for the passage of a resolution asking the City Environment and Parks Management Office to identify a sewer line from Pinget down to Quirino Hill and make one of its priority projects. – Jane B. Cadalig