Agencies can handle Baguio situation – EMB-CAR

The Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR) disclosed concerned government agencies can manage the environmental issues and concerns being raised against the local government without having to literally close the country’s undisputed Summer Capital, as was done in Boracay island, because the situation in the two places are different from each other.

EMB-CAR regional director Reynaldo S. Digamo said he made representations with Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu in several occasions during their management conferences that the DENR and its attached bureaus are capable of working together with the local government and other stakeholders to effectively and efficiently address the environmental issues and concerns being raised against the city through the past several years.

“We informed the Secretary we can manage the environmental issues and concerns of the city because we already started closely working with the local government on the implementation of multi-sectoral approaches to address the problems due to rapid urbanization,” Digamo stressed.

The EMB-CAR official agreed to the contention of local officials and some sectors that it would be physically impossible to totally close Baguio City like what was done in Boracay island because Baguio city has numerous entrance and exit points because of its mountainous terrain while Boracay is an island which could be reached through a single entry point that made possible its total closure for  six months.

According to him, the DENR and its attached agencies have intensified the strict implementation of environmental laws, rules and regulations governing businesses and residences with everyone compelled to adhere to the prescribed environmental standards in the operation of their businesses.

Digamo called on residents and businesses to learn to love the environment where they co-exist by obeying the stringent rules and regulations imposed by concerned government agencies and the local government in terms of solid waste disposal, ambient air quality, water quality management, among others, because they it is incumbent upon them to value the city  where they live and not for other individuals from other places to come and teach them what to do in preserving and protecting the city’s state of environment.

He claimed it is the people of the city who should be actively ensuring compliance to prescribed standards in preserving and protecting the city’s environment and not wait for outsiders to come to the city and correct their malpractices because there will come a time that such situation will happen if there will be rampant violations of environmental laws by the residents and businessmen amidst efforts to correct the same.

Digamo underscored the priority concerns of the DENR for the city is proper solid waste disposal, air quality and water quality management.

- Dexter A. See