FIESTA 2018: Naga starts clean-up drive with volunteers
By Jason B. Neola NAGA CITY ---The Solid Waste Management Office of this city has been fast-tracking construction works at the Balatas dumpsite here of a temporary residual waste containment area for the city’s mounting garbage, especially at this time of the Penafrancia Fiesta. “We have to cut the 30-meter elevation of garbage in that area as we anticipate the disposal of a bigger load during and after the celebration of this year’s fiesta,” SWMO Head Engr. Joel Martin said. The temporary waste containment area is situated at the back of Balatas dumpsite, which has been closed since February last year. The one-hectare containment area has a capacity to accommodate 32,000 tons of garbage. An average of 200 tons of garbage daily is expected to be collected from September 12 to 16, this year. On ordinary days, this city disposes an average of 90 tons daily. Martin said he is hoping that by 2nd quarter of 2019, the sanitary landfill that the city government is constructing in Barangay San Isidro would have been completed and ready for operation to address the city’s increasing load of garbage under a controlled sanitary waste disposal system. Meanwhile, more than 200 volunteers, mainly students from private schools and members of different religious groups based outside of the city, are joining this year’s massive clean-up drive while guests, visitors, pilgrims, and devotees are enjoying the fiesta. The citywide clean-up drive, which will take off September 7-16, this year, is a part of the annual celebration of Peñafrancia festivities, the biggest and grandest Marian festival in Asia where more than a million of visitors come to the city for the 10-day fiesta. “Many of these volunteers will be composed of students from other schools in the neighboring towns of the city and those from Rinconada area, Martin disclosed.