Naga City was one of the first four cities that participated in the USAID-funded Local Initiatives for Affordable Wastewater Treatment (LINAW) and continues to be involved in the Philippine Sanitation Alliance Project. Over the past several years, the PSA has been working with the City and the Metro Naga Water District to develop a metro-wide program to properly manage septic tanks in line with the Clean Water Act of 2004.
Naga Pursues Metro-wide Septage Management Program
Under the joint auspices of the City of Naga and the Metro Naga Water District (MNWD), the planned metro-wide septage management program has reached the final stages of detailed engineering. With an initial budget of P10 million for site development, the water district has applied for an environmental compliance certificate and is now completing requirements for the locational clearance from the Municipality of Magarao. To fulfill this requirement, the barangay and municipality need to endorse the project. The TWG is currently embarking on an aggressive consultation and promotion campaign to inform, educate, and gain approval of stakeholders. The TWG, through a series of Save the Watershed Seminar-Workshops, has gathered more than 400 health workers in the different local government units (LGUs) within its service area, namely Naga City, and the Municipalities of Magarao, Camaligan, Gainza, and Calabanga. The seminar-workshops provided an opportunity to discuss environmental programs on watershed protection, wastewater management (including the planned septage management program), solid waste management, and climate change. PSA Senior Project Coordinator Jay Tecson and Senior Finance Specialist Nene Narvaez joined the dialogue on October 30, 2009 with barangay councilors and zone leaders conducted by the TWG in Barangay Carangcang, host of the planned facility. They also met with the municipal officials of Magarao on October 29 to explain the project further and gain their support.
Naga City Councilor Hon. Badette Roco, who heads the City Council Environment Committee, is in the final stages of crafting the Naga City Ordinance for Septage Management. It will be finalized once the septage treatment service fee is set. This ordinance will be used as template for other LGUs involved in the program for their respective ordinances. Councilor Roco underscored the importance of the ordinance and will encourage his councilors to support it during the Nov. 4 regular session of the city council. The TWG will present during the Carangcang barangay public hearing on November 16 and kickoff the promotion campaign to support implementation of the program. The treatment facility will use septage lagoons and will cost a total of P67 million.
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