Baguio—Speaking before a national conference of the Department of Agrarian Reform, Mayor Benjamin Magalong on Tuesday revealed the poor state of environmental health of the country’s summer capital.
“Baguio has the dirtiest river and poorest air quality. Some people do not want me to be speaking about it, but that is the truth,” Magalong said.
He said the city government is looking for strategic solutions to solve the city’s ailments—the worsening traffic and the need to improve our sewerage.
“We are working with the United Nations Development Program to undertake these strategic studies. Only 15 percent of our waste-water being dumped to the rivers are treated. Our pollution and coliform levels far exceed the levels of Pasig River,” the mayor explained.
Magalong exposed some data detailing the poor environmental conditions that even the Environmental Management Bureau has denied, such as the state of the Balili River passing through the strawberry farms in nearby La Trinidad town, which has reached a coliform microbial density of 1.4 quadrillion parts per 100 milliliters.
Another revelation is the loss of forest cover in the city between 2014 to 2017, where 355 hectares of trees were cut by land developers.
He asked Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones to help conserve Baguio’s land just like the way it was done in Boracay Islands.