What if the Boracay garbage hauler stopped its operations since the Malay local government failed to pay its hauling services?
For acting Malay town mayor Frolibar Bautista, they are working to establish contingency measures in the event of ‘no-garbage scenario’ in the island.
Bautista noted that local government isn’t yet ready to pay the ECOS Sanitary Landfill and Waste Management Corporation until the Commission on Audit (COA) ‘cleared’ its contract services to haul the island’s trash.
The Malay government entered into an agreement with ECOS on March 2018 during the time of former mayor Ceciron Cawaling.
Since then, the ECOS has been collecting the garbage in collection points in three barangays of Yapak, Manoc-Manoc and Balabag and dumped the garbage to a landfill in Kabulihan in mainland Malay.
As of June 30, the Malay government owed the ECOS around P93-million in hauling services since January.
COA earlier questioned the P51.7-million payments to ECOS for hauling of residual wastes to Malay sanitary landfill from August to December 2018. The agency said the private company should have been solely responsible in financing the operations and maintenance at no cost for the LGU.
The disbursements on hauling of solid waste, management and operation of the sanitary landfill under a Private-Public Partnership (PPP) should have undertaken under Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Act, the COA said in its audit observation memo on January 2019.
Bautista said they have to prepare for the worst since Malay only has a P50-million budget for hauling services this year and a supplemental budget of P15-million for the Sangguniang Bayan of Malay to enact.
“May kulang pa tayo sa ECOS sa six-months operations nila. What if ECOS stopped its hauling services, dapat ready tayo na may available trucks para makolekta ang mga basura. Dapat may contingency plans tayo if ECOS will no longer collect the garbage,” the acting mayor said.
ECOS is collecting 60 to 70 tons of garbage daily in Boracay Island. From a staging area in Manoc-Manoc, the trucks of garbage are transported in a barge to Sambiray Port in mainland Malay.
Garbage-collection services in Boracay Island continue despite the non-payment of Malay government, according to ECOS president Oliver Zamora.
As he assumed office on July 1, Bautista also reminded government employees to ‘level up’ their services for better governance.
“I envisioned for years what is good for Boracay and the people of Malay. We have to level up na, I have to do something for the good of Malay. Kahit kamag-anak kita, at may lapses, pasensya ka kay Toto Fromy. I want assets, not liabilities in local governance,” he stressed.
There could be no effective governance, he added, if the people of Malay will not support the programs and projects of the local government.
By BOY RYAN B. ZABAL