Lipa City is province’s second-biggest source of garbage, says provincial data

 

LIPA CITY—This city is already having a voluminous amount of solid wastes in previous years before the population here experienced un-hauled trash in the latter part of 2016.

Data culled from the Provincial Solid Waste Management Plan showed that Lipa City was the second biggest generator of waste in the province at 160,000 kilos per day in 2014 to 2015. Lipa City is behind the provincial capital, Batangas City, whose average generation is 167,199.42 kilos per day in 2014 to 2015.

Lipa’s trash a day comprises 18.29 percent of the province’s total generated waste.

Nasugbu municipality is third, generating 53,357.12 kilos.

Piled up trash at a major highway in Lipa CIty (photo by Marlon Alexander Luistro / The Filipino Connection)

Piled up trash at a major highway in Lipa CIty (photo by Marlon Alexander Luistro / The Filipino Connection)

Engr. Joyce Faith Dijan, environment and sanitary engineer of the provincial environment office’s solid waste division, generally attributes Lipa’s garbage problem, as with other local governments struggling in its implementation, towards the lack of political will on the part of the barangay officials and lack of cooperation on the part of the residents.

“When it comes to garbage, everybody of us is guilty (of dumping) and some barangay captains are afraid to offend their constituents and the closest of their friends. Some received death threats even for a simple wrapper of candy,” Dijan told The Filipino Connection in separate interviews.

“Others said they are barangay captains not garbage collectors and therefore it’s not their job to collect.”

Contrast Lipa City to Batangas City, which has been recognized by environmental groups such as EcoWaste Coalition as a local government model in solid waste management and recycling.

Lipa City continues to struggle in solid waste management. While there is an official hauler, not all of the city’s 72 barangays were serviced by RC Bella Waste Management and Disposal Services (only 34 urban barangays are served).

Last December 2016 to January this year, the city had visible areas of uncollected garbage given the expiration of RC Bella’s contract and the bidding for a new hauler.

A new hauler won the bid, but the city government was dissatisfied with its services so RC Bella was tapped again to haul the city’s garbage. Daily collection is then sent to a sanitary landfill in Calamba City, Laguna.

The City’s Environment and Natural Resources Office already developed a ten-year solid waste management plan. But the office laments residents’ lack of discipline and cooperation, as well as challenges that barangay officials face in solid waste management, are major issues.

In 2016, the Commission on Audit (COA) warned city officials that they may be held liable if the city is not following the provisions of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act. The Office of the Ombudsman, through the agency’s environmental ombudsman, is currently preparing cases to local government officials found to have violated RA 9003.

 

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About MARLON ALEXANDER LUISTRO