City Hall eyes design, build scheme for SLF PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 January 2012 17:18

The city government through the Office of the City Environment and Natural Resources (OCENR) is studying the suggestion of a World Bank consultant to carry out the proposed sanitary landfill project in Salaan under a design-build and operate scheme.

Mayor Celso Lobregat said the suggestion was brought out by Christopher Ancheta, a World Bank consultant, during the meeting last Monday of the City Solid Waste Management Board in City Hall.

“Mr. Ancheta was saying that if we follow the normal process, the SLF project will take a lot of time because we don’t have the capability to do the design. Therefore, we have to bid out first the design and then bid out the implementation of the design,” Lobregat said, in which case he added, “there will be finger-pointing between the designer and the implementer of the SLF project.

“So, the best thing is to come up with the design, build and perhaps operate scheme,” the chief executive said. “This is now what the OCENR and the Bids, Awards Committee are studying, but first we have to set the parameters,” he stressed.

However, he clarified that the operation aspect of the project is something that has to be discussed because the city government can in fact operate once the project is implemented.

According to the mayor, the city government has already bought over 3 hectares of property in Salaan for the proposed SLF project, and the next step is the bidding process to implement. “That takes time. It is a complex process unlike building a road. The SLF project will also depend on the site specifics. So it’s not that simple,” he explained.

It can be recalled, the Earth Drill, a private company tapped by the OCENR to conduct a geological study on the proposed SLF site, found it out to be positive, feasible and recommended its approval by the City Solid Waste Management Board chaired by the mayor.

Earth Drill Geologist Samuel Sendon said their study on the Salaan property showed that the area is suitable for the purpose, it being away from any known active faults in the region, no possible risk for liquefaction and its overall slope is generally stable. 1/8 of the area was found to be soft but
authorities from the National Solid Waste Management Commission said the matter can be resolved through mitigating measures such as converting the area into a buffer zone or tree planting site.

Lobregat considered the positive geological study as the first step of a long process in realizing the SLF Project, taking into account the usual bureaucratic system in government.

“We are moving and inching forward and I am happy that the findings are positive,” the mayor said. —  Vic Larato