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‘Higher fees for businesses with more garbage’

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita, Nestle L. Semilla April 29,2015 - 01:10 AM

A wtater tanker belonging to barangay Sto. Nino was damaged after the driver tried to make his way through the narrow unpaved road leading to the Inayawan landfill when a fire hit the area last week. (CDN PHOTO/ JUNJIE MENDOZA)

A wtater tanker belonging to barangay Sto. Nino was damaged after the driver tried to make his way through the narrow unpaved road leading to the Inayawan landfill when a fire hit the area last week. (CDN PHOTO/ JUNJIE MENDOZA)

Cebu City  officials in charge of waste management want to charge higher collection fees for  commercial establishments that generate large volumes of garbage.

In last Monday’s Cebu City Council executive session Eduardo Rama Jr., head of the “Gubat sa Basura” (War on Garbage) program, said there are businesses that pay minimal fees under  a 25-year-old  ordinance.

He said this was unfair since the city government spends millions to dispose of their garbage.

His observations may prompt the City Council to review City Ordinance 1361 which establishes the system of garbage fees  are based on land area and not on the volume of garbage generated.

Out of   33,000 establishments in the city, most pay only P1,000 to P5,000 a year.

Rama said this poses an unfair burden on the city.

“For example, for six tons a day at P700 per ton  that’s P4,200 times 30 days, that’s P126,000 a month that the city pays for tipping fee.”

“It’s like the city is subsidizing business establishments. It’s unfair because the city is spending for the business establishments,”  Councilor Rama said.

The city’s Department of Public Services (DPS) collects an average of 460 tons of garbage a day including those collected by the barangays.

The figures caught the attention of Councilor Nestor Archival, who lamented that the fees paid by business establishments was meager.

“If this continues, the city’s  coffers will continue to diminish.  It is very revealing that with this kind of practice, we continue to increase our deficit. I think it’s a good that the Solid Waste Management Board make a study that would be the basis for legislative intervention,” he said.

Rama pointed out that the SWMB can only recommend, and that it’s up to the City  Council to amend the ordinance to update garbage fees.

Janeses Ponce, chairman of the SWMB, had earlier provided data on garbage fees paid by  33,000 establishments in the city.

Fees range from  P1,000 to more than P150,000 a year.  Only 50 pay more than P10,000 garbage collection fees annually.

Among the top payers are University of Cebu with P159,450; University of San Carlos-Talamban Campus with P120,590; Cebu Institute of Technology with P116,850; and University of San Jose-Recoletos with P105,000.

Other top payers include hotels like Marco Polo Plaza with P27,405 and Bayfront Hotel with P27,405. Ponce said the others only pay P1,000 to P5,000 to the city every year.

Unsolicited proposal

DPS is asking for a P127-million budget for tipping fees for 2015 but only P51 million was approved by the council, which will be used up at the  end of this month.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama was briefed yesterday by the  Joint Venture Selection Committee (JVSC) on a private company’s unsolicited proposal to develop the Inayawan landfill.  A press conference will be held soon about it.

A total of 38 barangays have petitioned  the mayor to continue allowing Inaywan to  be used as a waste transfer station.

Barangay chairmen Jeremias Nuñez of Parian and Vic Buendia of Labangon said they will sign the manifesto.Both officials said their barangays are finding it difficult to transport their garbage to the Consolacion private landfill site.

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TAGS: Cebu City, garbage, Inayawan landfill

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