FOLLOWING FLOOD | Legazpi to purchase dredging equipment

LEGAZPI CITY -- The city government here will purchase heavy equipment to be used for the desilting and year-round maintenance of all the river channels, including those in interior villages. 

Mayor Noel E. Rosal, in a phone interview Tuesday, said the maintenance of the rivers would be included in the city administration’s solid waste management program.

He said the rivers must be prevented from clogging due to the improper waste disposal by households, causing flooding, particularly during typhoon and rainy seasons.

The city chief executive revealed that he would ask the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) and the Liga ng mga Barangay to remind eco-waste managers, including garbage collectors and scavengers, regarding the proper implementation of the city’s "no segregation, no collection" policy.

"Disposing waste materials is everybody’s responsibility. We need the cooperation of every household in the barangay. We need the cooperation of the business sector. We need the cooperation of schools and other stakeholders for the implementation of the city’s waste disposal program in order to maintain the cleanliness of our surroundings and also to prevent the contamination and clogging of our rivers," Rosal pointed out.

He said he would urge the CENRO to conduct regular monitoring in different villages to prevent the disposal of waste materials. 

The CENRO should also conduct an orientation seminar for all the business establishments operating in Legazpi as part of their compliance with City Ordinance ‎0010-2008, which requires business operators to undergo Ecological Solid Waste Management Program symposiums, according to Rosal.

He said the certificate of attendance in these seminars would be used to acquire barangay clearance as part of the requirements for renewing business permits.

Any small business owner who violates this ordinance will have to pay a penalty of PHP300 for the first offense; PHP500 for second offense; and PHP1,000 for the third offense.

On the other hand, commercial and industrial-scale business owners who violate this ordinance have to pay a fine of PHP1,000 for the first offense; PHP2,000 for the second offense; and PHP3,000 for the third offense. 

Rosal said he would request the City Council to adopt a resolution or enact an ordinance for higher penalties for all the violators of the city’s waste disposal ordinances, including illegal settlers who will construct any form of infrastructure near the rivers. (By Emmanuel Solis, PNA)