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8 Bicol LGUs lauded for effective solid waste mgt

By Mar S. Arguelles
Bicol Mail

LEGAZPI CITY — At least eight local government units (LGUs) in Bicol have been cited by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for carrying out an efficient waste disposal system in their respective areas.

The DENR thru the National Solid Waste Management Council (NSWMC) has commended the towns of Magarao in Camarines Sur, and Pilar, Bulan, Irosin and Magallanes, all in Sorsogon, as well as the cities of Naga, Legazpi and Sorsogon for satisfactorily complying with the objectives and provisions of the Ecological Solid Management Act of 2000 or R.A. 89003.

During simple rites held here last Monday, DENR Regional Executive Director Joselin Marcus Fragada lauded the town and city executives concerned for consistently implementing an effective waste disposal program in consonance with the national program on ecological solid waste management.

Eva Ocfemia, Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) regional director, said the recognition was based on two criteria, or categories, which are: implementation of materials recovery facility (MRF) and waste reduction and segregation.

Under Category 1, the LGUs that pursued an effective MRF were the cities of Naga and Sorsogon, and the towns of Magarao in Camarines Sur and Pilar in Sorsogon.

Under Category 2, the LGUs that deserved recognition were Legazpi City, and the towns of Bulan, Irosin and Magallanes in Sorsogon.

As this developed, Fragada reminded other LGUs that have not yet complied with the ecological solid management act to strictly abide by the law and give the program their priority concern or else face sanctions for their failure to implement the same.

City Hall receives 10 e-Bike units

By Gerald O. Enguero
Bicol Mail

e-BIKES. Naga City Mayor John G. Bongat watches as Vice Mayor Gabby H. Bordado tries one of the ten units of electric bicycles (e-Bikes) turned over by the United Nations to the city government last January 2, 2012. The environment friendly bicycles have been assigned to selected offices at city hall to expedite ‘delivery’ of services to the city’s stakeholders. Photo by RANDY VILLAFLOR

The city government of Naga recently received ten units of electric bicycles, more known as e-Bikes, courtesy of the Climate Change Program of the United Nations through the Health and Wellness Empowerment for the Poor Program of Oscar G. Arcilla, Jr., a Nagueño technocrat based in Metro Manila.

A grateful City Mayor John G. Bongat immediately allocated the environment-friendly vehicles to seven offices at city hall with one unit each that will make best use of them in the delivery of services.

The eBikes can run for 65 kilometers or about three hours after they have been charged for seven hours at the cost of P15 compared to P50 consumed by gasoline fed motorcycles.

This city, according to Arcilla, is the first local government unit to receive the eBikes for free in line with the UN’s advocacy for clean environment.

City Environment & Natural Resources Officer Oscar P. Orozco, said e-bikes and other electric vehicles are one of the best contributions against air pollution.

The e-Bikes were distributed at one unit each to the city’s MEPO (Naga City People’s Mall office), City Civil Registrar, City Health office, Accounting Office, Public safety Office, City Assessor’s Office, and MetroPeso. The remaining three units will be available for pooling, c/o the City Mayor’s Office.

Naga steps up drive vs air and water solution

By Gerald O. Enguero
Bicol Mail

BIO-CLEANER. Mayor John Bongat, along with DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo, Vice Mayor Gabby Bordado, Environment Officer Oscar Orozco and Waste Management Manager Joel Martin (top photo) watch from the riverbanks how a Bio-Cleaner (lower photo), loaned by Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA) for a 3-month demonstration, works to boost the oxygen level of the polluted Naga River. ENRO Photo

This city government’s anti-pollution campaign has taken a more aggressive step with the procurement recently of modern equipment to check air quality and a plan to purchase a bio-reactor to boost the oxygen level of the Naga River at any given time.

City Environment and Natural Resources Officer Oscar Orozco said that based on the 22% increase in air pollutants as recorded during the previous two years by the Air Quality Monitoring Station of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) within the confines of the city, the challenge now is to arrest further pollutant gas emissions into the air space and water.

With its recently-purchased Opacimeter, Orozco said they have stepped up the campaign against smoke-belching vehicles which are the heaviest contributors to air pollution. By inserting the equipment into the exhaust system of the vehicle and other gas-guzzling machines, his office can now determine how much pollutants are thrown into the air.

Orozco reported that as of October this year, out of the 231 vehicles on the road tested, 109 failed which have been warned or penalized under City Ordinance 990-84 that prohibits smoke-belching vehicles from plying the city’s roads and highways.

For water preservation and maintenance, Orozco’s office is strictly enforcing the salient provisions of the Clean Water Act, which, among others, call for higher Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) level in the bodies of water such as the river.

Orozco disclosed that with a Bio-Reactor which was recently loaned by the Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA), they were able to sustain the required oxygen level of the Naga River.

He said that upon testing they found out that the river’s oxygen level ranged from 1.8 milliliter to 2 milliliter which was way below the average required oxygen level of 10 milliliter per liter. This means, Orozco said, that the river was no longer suitable for aquatic life formation, unless remedial measures were done.

With the Bio-Reactor that the city government plans to purchase after three months of actual demonstration, Orozco said, his office was able to increase the oxygen level and water quality of the Naga River where the equipment as part of the process also consumed the organic pollutants found in the river.