MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City government’s garbage hauling expenses dropped in 2015 after it was able to reduce the volume of trash from businesses and homes, said the Commission on Audit (COA).
Based on a report released by COA on Friday, July 29, the city only shelled out P768,305,831 ($16.3 million) for “environment/sanitary sevices” in 2015 – at least 24.2% or P246 million ($5.2 million) less than 2014’s P1.014 billion ($21.5 million).
The figure for 2015 was the lowest since 2009, when the city spent P755.265 million ($1.6 million).
In 2014, Quezon City – the biggest city in Metro Manila in terms of land area and population – had been the biggest spender in terms of garbage hauling. (READ: QC wastes P250M yearly with flawed garbage program)
Its expenses that year was almost twice the total garbage hauling contracts paid by the city of Manila, which spent P548.098 million ($11.6 million).
In 2013, Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista implemented Ordinance No. 2235, which required households to pay for garbage hauling. The amount ranged from P100 ($2.12) to P500 ($10.63), depending on the lot area occupied.
The Supreme Court (SC), however, issued a temporary restraining order on the ordinance in February 2014 and eventually ruled against it in June 2015, ordering the local government to refund residents.
With the SC ruling, Quezon City decided to shift its efforts to reducing the volume of garbage produced by homes and commercial establishments.
It implemented a “grassroots approach” which included segregation programs, materials recovery facilities, a solid waste management summit for barangay officials and officers of homeowners’ associations, recyclable trading, and a Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance.
COA praised these waste reduction initiatives spearheaded by the city’s Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department (EPWMD).
The audit report also cited the regreening program in Payatas. According to COA, 1,846 trees were planted in the old landfill in 2015, bringing the total to 12,088 trees. – Rappler.com
$1 = P47