Virac to Borrow P75 Million for Sanitary Landfill Project - CT

The administration of Mayor Santos "Doc" Zafe has asked the Sangguniang Bayan of Virac for authority to negotiate with financing institutions a P75-million loan for the proposed conversion of the existing Casoocan dumpsite into a sanitary landfill.

The resolution, sponsored by Councilor Eulogio Talaran, Jr., underwent first reading during the regular session of the municipal council last July 20 and was immediately referred to several committees. The loan proposal is based on the recommendations of Woodfields Consultant, Inc., which was reportedly paid P1.5 million for the 114-page study submitted to the municipality just this month.

The project seeks to establish an Integrated Solid Waste Management Facility at the 2.19-hectare controlled dumpsite at Casoocan 10 kilometers from the poblacion. The dumpsite, the consultant claimed, lacks the technical engineering soundness required for a proper disposal facility and poses health hazards due to exposed wastes and unmitigated generation of leachate.

According to the feasibility study, the 70 cubic meters per day (19.68 tons per day) of garbage generated by the municipality needs to be disposed in an engineered sanitary landfill that would include a materials recovery facility, leachate collection liner system, leachate treatment ponts, gas management system, face method landfilling system, soil covering and landfill closure plan in accordance with Republic Act 9003 or the Solid Waste Management Act. Only 9,000 square meters of the site would be used as landfill cells.

Nearby towns of San Andres and Bato may opt to discard their refuse at the Virac landfill, which could provide some social and financial benefits to the capital town, Woodfields stressed.

The existing solid waste management operation in Virac is currently undertaken by the municipal engineering office through street sweeping, garbage collection and disposal using two dumptrucks and three compactors, most of which have been junked. The administration recently bought a small flatbed cargo forward truck for about P700,000 from a Manila supplier.

Of the municipality’s 63 barangays, the study emphasized, only one – barangay Concepcion – operates its own Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and a small composting facility. There is no solid waste segregation at source, with the solid waste management ordinance largely unimplemented.

The proposed landfill, the study claimed, will bring social and economic benefits, through job opportunities during construction and eventual operation, as well as income to be generated from garbage disposal by other towns.

Woodfields said that the project will actually cost P83,150,000.00, with the municipality providing an equity of P8.15 million for the land and Organization & Management cost. Of the P75 million to be borrowed from a government bank, P66.685 million would be spent for land development, actual construction and equipment while P8.315 million would be allocated as follows: P5 million for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Detailed Design, and P3.315 million for Contingency.

The proposed loan will bear an interest of 9.5% per annum with a three-year grace period, varying yearly amortization and equal principal payments for five years. Based on the schedule, the municipality would have to pay P7.125 million annually for three years, followed by decreasing payments ranging from P22.125 million to P16.425 million for the next five years.

Woodfields estimates that the project will earn an average net income of P27,107,000 from the initial tipping fee of P3,600 per ton from the first year, with the net cash flow increasing 384 times from P237,000.00 on the first year to P90,881,000.00 on the 8th year.

The tipping fee, which is a fee to be paid by those who will dispose of garbage in the landfill, will have to be shared by commercial and industrial establishments and households in Virac. The municipalities of Bato and San Andres, according to the study, will be charged with the same tipping fee based on the volume of garbage delivered at the landfill.

Based on Woodfields’ calculation, Bato will have to cough up P10,800 per day or P324,000 a month for the three (3) tons per day garbage volume while San Andres will pay P18,000 per day or P540,000 a month for the same service.

The consultant recommended to the municipal government that the incoming waste of potential clients – the towns of Bato and San Andres – would be assured for garbage disposal, a memorandum of agreement should be prepared for each LGU to ascertain the minimum guaranteed volume of delivered garbage for the project’s sustainability.

It also urged that appropriate site surveys be done during the detailed engineering design and EIA stages and the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) be secured. "To ensure that the project is locally acceptable, a Sangguniang Bayan resolution and barangay resolution showing the approval and acceptance of the project should be prepared," Woodfields said.

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