Opposition councilors question proposed budget for garbage
By the end of this year, Cebu City Hall will be spending close to P400 million for garbage disposal.
The amount, which is almost four times more than the yearly budget from previous years, has surprised Cebu City Council members, mostly from the Barug Team Rama bloc.
During the City Council’s budget hearing for the P716 million proposed Supplemental Budget (SB) 1 yesterday, the councilors lamented that despite the increasing allocations for garbage collection and disposal, there are still a lot of complaints that the city is not clean enough.
“We still receive reports of uncollected garbage. I still cannot see the logic in having to spend P300 to P400 million and we don’t see substantial results. The increase in budget from the previous administration should be proportionate to your efficiency in garbage collection,” said Councilor
Raymond Garcia to officials of the Department of Public Services (DPS) who presented their budget proposal to the City Council.
“We are apprehensive because we are spending more and I personally can’t see a cleaner Cebu City. I go to Guadalupe and V. Rama and there are garbage on the road,” said Councilor Jose Daluz III.
The DPS has the biggest allocation in the proposed SB 1 at P210.5 million.
The proposed amount includes miscellaneous services for garbage collection and disposal or the hiring of private haulers and for tipping fees (P151.2 million), rental of heavy and other equipment (P56.3 million) and for personnel services of the DPS (P3 million).
DPS assistant head John Paul Gelasque explained to the Council that the P151.2 million proposal is for the payment for private garbage haulers from July until December.
This was derived at an estimated garbage collection of 600 tons per day from July to November, and at 700 tons per day on December.
Currently, the city has contracted the services of Pasajero Motors Corp. (Pamocor) which hauls the city’s garbage from a transfer station in Barangay Inayawan to the private landfill in Consolacion town at a rate of P1,333 per ton.
As for the P56.3 million proposal for heavy equipment rental, Gelasque said this is intended for the rental of 10 compactor trucks and five open dump trucks to augment the city which only has 24 running garbage trucks.
Rental cost is pegged at P850 per hour per truck. All of the trucks are expected to be used for 24 hours a day. This cost includes the driver as well as the maintenance, but the city will be the one to spend for its fuel.
“In the previous administration, the city spent between P110 to P120 million a year compared to almost P400 million this year. That’s already double but I still see complaints left and right. How can we justify to the ordinary taxpayers that there is this increase?” Councilor Raymond Garcia said.
Aside from the increase in budget, Councilor Edu Rama also criticized the city’s “illogical” set-up of garbage disposal where in north barangays like Pit-os will have to travel 20 kilometers to Inayawan in order to dump their garbage when they can go directly to the Consolacion landfill and pay only P700 per ton as tipping fee.
“It’s nearer, it’s cheaper and dili usik sa gasolina (we don’t waste fuel) and time. If we say around 300 tons a day of garbage are dumped directly to Consolacion, the city can save around P75 million a year,” said Rama.
But Gelasque explained that the city cannot go directly to Consolacion as instructed by Mayor Osmeña since they do not have a valid contract with Asian Energy Systems Corp., the owner of the private landfill.
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