Surigao City mulls privatization of garbage collection

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/22 November)—Citing the growing operational expenses in garbage collection, the city government is considering to privatize it.

Atty. Manuel D. Delani, city legal officer, said the local government unit (LGU) wants to consult the public on the possible privatization of waste collection.

Delani, speaking in behalf of Mayor Ernesto Matugas, told MindaNews last Thursday the LGU would like the constituents to “pay a reasonable amount” for the collection of their garbage.

“We have a problem in our garbage collection because our garbage trucks are old and most of them are dilapidated. If this privatization will make a better service for the public, why not?” Delani said.

He added the LGU is seriously discussing how to resolve the garbage problem.

There is a need for more garbage trucks as well as garbage collectors but the city does not have enough money for these expenditures, Delani said.

For his part, Engr. Elmer C. Tecson, officer-in-charge of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office, said the city has only 10 garbage trucks, noting some of them are dilapidated.

He placed the city’s daily garbage collection from 20-25 tons, which are dumped at the sanitary landfill in Barangay Silop.

Tecson said the city government spends at least P15 million for waste collection and dumping.

He opposed plans to privatize garbage collection, saying this will add burden to the public.

Teczon, however, said the city government will still conduct a public consultation to discuss the privatization of garbage collection in the city.

City residents have mixed reactions on the plan to privatize garbage collection.

Jameel Anonuevo thumbed it down, saying, “What’s the use of our city’s general services if officials won’t find solutions for it.”

For Peter Cayetona, privatization will improve garbage collection.

Michael Taripe believed that unscrupulous individuals might benefit if garbage collection is privatized.

“They are planning to make business out of garbage collection. That’s wrong in the sense that among the city’s basic services is to keep the city clean and collect the garbage,” he said.