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June 19, 2007

Baguio begins multi-million solid waste wanagement programme
The Baguio city government is now set to begin its 10-year multi-million peso solid waste management programme in its bid to preserve its title as the country's cleanest and greenest city and strengthen its claim as prime world tourism destination.

City mayor Reinaldo Bautista Jr. said this was made possible after the city council approved the program and allotted funds for the five initial managed recycling points in cluster areas of 129 barangays or villages.

The ordinance sponsored by City Councilor Galo Weygan was unanimously approved because it conforms with the requirements and standards set by Republic Act 9003 or the Comprehensive Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of the Philippines, Philippines News Agency (PNA) quote Bautista as saying.

Besides, he said, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had in her previous official visits here had always reminded our commitment to protect the ecology and people's welfare in this mountain resort.

All sectors here had worked together to combat pollution and the effective waste disposal system management after the World Bank reported that this city, located some 250 kilometers north of Manila, was among the most polluted urban centre in the country.

Since 2006, the daily average of 270 tonnes of solid waste collected and dumped at the open dumpsite in Barangay Irisan.

Because of efforts to convert the facility as a controlled dumpsite, only 25 percent of the two-hectare dumpsite is now being used for the daily dumping operations to give way for initial measures of non-pollutive waste disposal, like composting of biodegradable materials and recycling of non-biodegradable items such as cans, plastics, Styrofoam and bottles.

Bautista said that with the efforts towards to protect the city's ecology, this is expected to prevent dengue fever and meningococcemia, which affected some residents here in the past.

"We enlist the full support of our residents and visitors in our efforts towards the best ecological situation of Baguio through their strict adherence to the waste segregation.

"Now that we have the ordinance to pursue towards ecological waste management, we look forward that through the years we can effectively manage our solid waste disposal system and at the same time continue with our regreening movements through planting of more trees and ornamental plants," the mayor said. Bernama

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