Unconfirmed reports claimed that Tuguegarao City has been listed as one of the three most polluted cities in the Philippines in the mid-2000 because of the ever-increasing number of tricycles. However, this has been denied by then Mayor and now Congressman Randy Ting.
The City government said efforts have been made to reduce air pollution in Tuguegarao thru the Clean Air Act but tricycle drivers have been adamant on the issue and said their transport is the only source of income.
Through a private group, the Envirofit, the government facilitated the conversion of tricycles from 2-stroke to 4-stroke engines. Again, majority of them refused. The issue remained unsettled as of this report despite the assurance of the City government that the phase-out will be gradual.
These and other problems made the city government to finally embark on a various programs and projects including activities and policies on climate change adaptation.
Waste and Liquid Management
In a report to the International Council on Local Environment Initiatives (ICLEI)- Asian Cities Adapt Project and other stakeholders during the 2nd Pilot Cities Workshop three years ago, Carolina Calucag, then of the Mayor’s Office, said the city had initiated the establishment of material recovery facility (MRF) centers along public markets, barangays and the academe for segregation and recycling of solid waste.
At least 35 of the 49 barangays are now into composting for organic farming in the city.
In the education sector, 37 elementary schools in both private and government plus eight secondary schools have already established their own MRFs. No official updates have been provided to the media by the new administration of Mayor Jeff Soriano on waste and liquid management since he took over the reign of leadership.
Soon, an anti-littering law and a task force is expected to be passed and created within this year.
Forest Parks Initiatives
In recent years, Tuguegarao has become a referral point on humidity, it being the hottest city in the country. To mitigate the situation, the City government has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for the joint protection and management of 63 hectares forestlands at Namabbalan Sur by virtue of Sangguniang Panlungsod Resolution No. 130-2010.
Then, Calucag reported that the city has completed the establishment of communal gardens as fruit-bearing seedling stations as part of a park development project.
“We have embarked on a river park development plan to be planted with more trees,” she said.
For its disaster risk reduction management, a study on the vulnerability of the city, including a master listing of potential victims, had been done.
In fact, the city government reported it has entered into another agreement thru a MOA with UN-Habitat/DILG for the implementation of the vulnerability assessment and adaptation project.
Agriculture, it being one of the factors in global warming, is likewise on top of the mitigation agenda of the city. It included various technology transfers and the establishment of modern farms and post-harvest facilities backed up by numerous agreements with various line agencies.
With all these interventions, however, the City government is expected to at least mitigate the effects of the phenomenon and that should be attained thru an unconditional support of its citizenry.
Meantime, Tuguegaraoenos will have to bear with the onslaught of temperatures and it seems like there is sign it will turn over its title to either Cabanatuan of Echague in Isabela province. (ALM/BSY/PIA-2)