Finally, BOPK listened–opposition

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - November 9, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Opposition-allied Cebu City councilors welcomed the plan to purchase 21 compactor trucks in a bid to lessen the city’s expenses for garbage collection and disposal.


Councilor Jocelyn Pesquera said the opposition has been recommending for the purchase of compactor trucks instead of leasing and privatizing the garbage collection.

“But they (councilors allied with Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan) insisted on privatizing garbage collection which tripled the city’s expenses. It’s good that they came to realize their mistake. But we need to scrutinize the figure because it’s a big amount. It’s more than half of the budget for garbage collection,” she told The FREEMAN in a text message.

The city’s Department of Public Services has proposed P692 million under the P8.1 billion 2019 Annual Budget.

Of the P692 million, DPS proposed P201.3 million for garbage collection, P64.5 million for rental of garbage trucks, and P232.5 million for purchase of compactor trucks.

Each truck costs P11 million.

For this year, the city allocated P133.67 million for the rental of garbage trucks and P286.8 million for the hauling of garbage totaling to P420 million.

Last year, the city spent over P312.5 million for the garbage collection and disposal following the closure of its landfill. The city-owned Inayawan Sanitary Landfill was ordered closed by the court in December 2016.

Pesquera said the previous administration only spent P130 million for garbage collection, while the current administration tripled its expenses by renting and hiring private haulers.

Councilor Joel Garganera, for his part, said Mayor Tomas Osmeña has been criticizing the previous administration for spending millions for garbage collection, yet his administration has already spent over P400 million for the same purpose.

“The point is, they justified that outsourcing is the key to solve the garbage problem but right after almost a billion spent on outsourcing, they are now buying garbage trucks. Gikaon ra nila ang ilang gisulti,” Garganera said.

Garganera said he is no longer surprised by the actions of the executive department, stressing that the city’s solid waste management is still “a huge problem.”

Among the suggestions of the opposition are to purchase garbage trucks and to allow the north district barangays to dump their garbage in  a landfill in Consolacion, but fell on deaf ears, he said.

DPS Assistant Head John Paul Gelasque said the department decided to lobby for the purchase of compactor trucks to lessen the city’s garbage collection and disposal expenses in the succeeding years.

He said the city would only pay out P140.5 million for two years until 2020 for garbage disposal.

He said the department has proposed P64 million for rental of trucks and P130.8 million for hauling from January to June next year, while the city prepares for the purchase of trucks.

With the purchase of trucks, he said the city would spend P700 per ton for tipping fee. DPS has set aside P70.46 million for tipping fee from July to December next year.

Basically, the current administration will be using the system of the previous administration wherein city’s resources like garbage trucks will be used to collect and haul garbage in accredited landfills.

Gelasque said the city will ensure that proper contracts will be signed between the landfill operators and the city government to avoid illicit transactions.

To recall, the city reportedly owed P32 million in two procurements for city’s Garbage Waste Disposal services in December 2013 and March 2014.

The city has yet to pay the P32 million as the current administration believed that there was no contract entered into between the city government and the Asian EnergySystem Corp.

Gelasque said the matter is still pending before the court. — KBQ (FREEMAN)

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