Garbage haul­ing to cost Cebu City P142M in just 5 months

Cebu Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - by Jose Santino S. Bu­na­chita RE­PORTER

The Cebu City Depart­ment of Pub­lic Ser­vices (DPS) has been given an­other P40 mil­lion for the haul­ing of the city’s garbage for the month of May, caus­ing op­po­si­tion coun­cilors to raise a furor that this ad­min­is­tra­tion is ac­tu­ally spend­ing more in garbage dis­posal than the heav­ily crit­i­cized Rama ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The ad­di­tional bud­get, ap­proved by the City Coun­cil on Tues­day, means that City Hall will be spend­ing P142.8 mil­lion for the first five months of this year alone for garbage haul­ing, or P7.8 mil­lion more than the P135 mil­lion that was spent for the whole year of 2016.

Coun­cilor Joel Gar­gan­era pointed out that right now, the city is spend­ing around P25 mil­lion a month for garbage dis­posal. In the ad­min­is­tra­tion of for­mer mayor Michael Rama, the av­er­age was only around P15 mil­lion a month, he said.

At this rate, the city will be spend­ing more than P300 mil­lion for the en­tire year for garbage dis­posal, said Gar­gan­era.

“There is a huge jump in our bud­get for garbage dis­posal. I just hope that we hear from our peo­ple that our city is re­ally clean,” added Coun­cilor Jose Daluz III, also of Team Rama like Gar­gan­era.

To re­call, the garbage dis­posal spend­ing of the Rama ad­min­is­tra­tion was placed un­der close scru­tiny by then may­oral can­di­date To­mas Os­meña over al­leged ques­tion­able ar­range­ment with the owner of the pri­vate land­fill in Con­so­la­cion town where the city dumped its waste, as well as the high cost it en­tailed.

Os­meña, af­ter he as­sumed of­fice in July last year, halted the city’s deal with the pri­vate land­fill owner, say­ing it was il­le­gal since the city had no valid con­tract with the pri­vate land­fill and only had pur­chase orders.

How­ever, in the cur­rent setup, the city also only has pur­chase orders as its form of con­tract with the pri­vate haul­ing firm Jo­mara Kon­struckt Corp.

The city government paid Jo­mara P25 mil­lion for garbage haul­ing fees in Jan­uary and al­lo­cated an­other P77.8 mil­lion for its haul­ing con­tract with Jo­mara up to April 30. But the P77.8 mil­lion is pro­jected to be ex­hausted by April 25, said DPS as­sis­tant head John Paul Ge­lasque yes­ter­day.

He ex­plained why: “It is ex­pected to end ear­lier be­cause the vol­ume of our garbage has ex­ceeded the av­er­age of 600 tons per day. It is now at 670 tons per day or more. This is why our bud­get is short of the April 30 tar­get.”

Dur­ing the Cebu City Coun­cil’s reg­u­lar ses­sion last Tues­day af­ter­noon, the DPS’ re­quest was dis­cussed and even­tu­ally ap­proved by the mem­bers of the coun­cil, al­beit with sev­eral clarifications.

Ge­lasque ex­plained that the ad­di­tional P40.8-mil­lion bud­get will be good for an­other 35 to 40 days or roughly un­til the end of May. This is based on the cur­rent setup where Jo­mara has to pro­vide the trans­fer sta­tion where the city and its barangays can dump garbage. Jo­mara will also be the one to trans­port the garbage to the pri­vate land­fill in Con­so­la­cion town, the same land­fill used dur­ing the pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion. Cebu City pays Jo­mara P1,350 per ton of garbage for this con­tract.

Ge­lasque clar­i­fied, though, that the P40.8 mil­lion will have to be bid out again and will not au­to­mat­i­cally go to Jo­mara.

DPS pro­posed to re­align the P40.8 mil­lion from its ap­proved bud­get this year in­tended for the ren­tal of heavy and other equip­ment, he said.

Ac­cord­ing to Ge­lasque, they had wanted to pro­pose a P250-mil­lion bud­get for garbage haul­ing from May to De­cem­ber this year but de­cided to put it on hold since the mayor’s of­fice and the city bud­get of­fice have yet to sub­mit a sup­ple­men­tal bud­get to the City Coun­cil.

“We were wait­ing for a sup­ple­men­tal bud­get, but there is no plan yet from the mayor and the bud­get of­fice. So we looked for a bud­get we can use,” Ge­lasque said.

He said they can re­align their bud­get for heavy equip­ment ren­tal since there is no need to rent any equip­ment yet while garbage haul­ing is more im­por­tant at this time.

Ge­lasque said among the rea­sons why the city’s daily garbage vol­ume has in­creased is the city’s on­go­ing “Ba­sura Mo, Sardi- nas Ko” pro­gram that en­cour­ages res­i­dents to ex­change a bag­ful of their garbage with one to two cans of sar­dines. The project is now pi­loted in Barangays Lahug and Co­gon Pardo where there are sitios lo­cated near creeks that of­ten be­come the dump­ing area of garbage for the res­i­dents.

All the garbage col­lected by the city end up in the trans­fer sta­tion in Inayawan be­fore these are brought to Con­so­la­cion.

Coun­cilor Edu Rama, who was part of the city’s garbage pro­gram team dur­ing the pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion when he was still not a city coun­cilor, noted the new setup that re­quired all barangays to use the tem­po­rary dump­ing sta­tion in Inayawan was im­prac­ti­cal since north dis­trict barangays like Pit-os and Talam­ban, which are al­ready near Con­so­la­cion, will have to go all the way back to Inayawan in the south dis­trict to dump their garbage at the trans­fer sta­tion of Jo­mara.

De­spite their con­cerns and com­ments, the City Coun­cil still ap­proved the bud­get re­align­ment re­quest of DPS. But they sched­uled an ex­ec­u­tive ses­sion with DPS, the city bud­get of­fi­cer, city trea­surer and city ac­coun­tant on April 25 to dis­cuss the city’s garbage dis­posal pro­gram and how it can be im­proved.

The DPS had an ap­proved bud­get of P121 mil­lion for its garbage dis­posal, but it lasted only un­til April. Ge­lasque said part of the bud­get was also set aside for the salaries of the depart­ment’s job or­der per­son­nel for the en­tire year.



P40 MIL­LION. John Paul Ge­lasque, Depart­ment of Pub­lic Ser­vices (DPS) as­sis­tant head, is in a pen­sive mood as he lis­tens to ques­tions from Cebu City coun­cilors re­gard­ing his depart­ment’s re­quest to re­align P40 mil­lion of the DPS bud­get for garbage dis­posal dur­ing the coun­cil ses­sion on Tues­day, April 18, 2017.


Scav­engers are hav­ing a field day at the Jo­mara garbage trans­fer sta­tion lo­cated just be­side the now closed Inayawan land­fill.

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