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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, April 12, 2012
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Mayor pushes privatization
of city’s garbage collection

BY CHRYSEE SAMILLANO

Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia yesterday said he has already submitted to the Sangguniang Panlungsod the project study on the proposed privatization of garbage collection in Bacolod City.

“I submitted the project study on the last week of March for the SP members to have enough time to study it, so that when they receive the contract, we hope they will be ready to approve it,” he said.

Leonardia said that according to the Department of Public Services, in Bacolod, only 70 percent of the garbage generated daily are being collected. ”If we get a private contractor, it should be a ‘clean all policy,’ or a 100 percent collection,” he said.

The contractor will only be paid for the garbage it brings to the dumpsite, Leonardia said. This will give them an incentive to collect some more, he said.

The project study has recommended that regular employees of the DPS will be farmed out so none of them will be dismissed or laid off, Leonardia said.

Some will be assigned to the dumpsite because they need to monitor the operation of the Materials Recovery Facility while some will monitor the garbage collection and determine areas where garbage has not been collected, he said.

Leonardia said DPS personnel will be evaluated and assigned to other offices like the City Engineer’s Office and the City Environment and Natural Resources Office.

The casuals will go through the process based on the standards of the contractor, Leonardia said. ”Maybe we cannot legally force them, but we will use every possible way of influencing them to, possibly, prioritize employees who are already there,” he said.

These factors will contribute to a cleaner and better environment for Bacolod City, he added.

Leonardia said the privatization of garbage collection is one of his campaign promises. He said he hopes this will materialize because he believes this is for the good of the city.

Meanwhile, Leonardia also said he has received feedback that the initial implementation of the “No segregation, no collection” policy was overall satisfactory.

“We should protect our sanitary landfill since we cannot use it to dump all the garbage in the city. So we should segregate at source, that only residual waste will be dumped at the sanitary landfill site,” he said.

Leonardia said the sanitary landfill of Bacolod costs about P30 million, which is very reasonable, or cheaper compared to other facilities. The third district is proposing the construction of a P242 million landfill, he said.

“With this, we are now one of the first few cities that have a sanitary landfill in compliance with R.A. 9003,” Leonardia said. There are many cities and municipalities who have no sanitary landfills of their own and the law provides sanctions for non-compliance, he added.*CGS

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