Davao City spent P151M due to lack of waste segregation – COA

MANILA, Philippines – Nearly all barangays in Davao City failed to comply with the requirements of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act last year, causing the local government to spend P151.73 million for sanitary expenses. 

A report by the Commission on Audit (COA) released on June 22 showed that only 4 out of the city's 182 barangays maintain a materials recovery facility (MRF), which is required by law. The MRFs are intended to promote recycling and segregation of waste to curb expenses for trash hauling fees.

The Davao city government's spending on sanitary services rose by P17.02 million in 2016 from 2015, COA noted. 

Davao City records show that there were 16 MRFs already built. But after the inspection of state auditors, they found that the only operational MRFs are in barangays Crossing Bayabas, Dumoy, Hizon, and Mahayag.

"Previously established MRFs in [barangays] Governor Paciano Bangoy, San Antonio – Agdao, Centro – San Juan, Lapu-Lapu, Sasa, Matina Pangi, and Calinan Proper were discontinued due to a variety of reasons such as funding and changes in priorities of the administration," the report said. 

COA added that the City Environment and Natural Resources Office allowed the collection of non-segregated wastes. Biodegradable and non-biodegradable wastes were also mixed after collection.

"These practices increase not only the volume of waste for collection and disposal defeating the purpose of waste segregation but also the spending for private hauling services. In addition, disposal of non-segregated or unsorted wastes in the sanitary landfill instead of strictly residual wastes reduces the useful life of the facility," said COA.

While acknowledging the findings, City Environment and Natural Resources Officer Engineer Elisa Madrazo explained that she had relied on barangay officials to properly implement the law.

But Madrazo also told COA that her office would more closely monitor barangays to ensure they are complying with the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

Davao City is President Rodrigo Duterte's hometown. He served there as mayor for over 20 years. – Rappler.com