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No changes in garbage collection schedule despite fuel cuts

First Posted 15:45:00 06/16/2008

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CEBU CITY, Philippines ? The 24-hour garbage collection in Cebu City will continue despite the 25-percent fuel cuts of city government owned vehicles, a city official said.

Drivers of Cebu City?s garbage trucks will have to adopt cost saving measures to cope with the 25 percent reduction of fuel allocation to at least 200 city-owned vehicles as ordered by Mayor Tomas Osmeña in his June 6 memorandum.

?Garbage collection operations in the city should not stop even with the order of reduction of fuel consumption,? said engineer Dionesio Gualiza, chief of Cebu City?s Department of Public Services (DPS).

Gualiza said energy-saving measures were implemented after he received Osmeña?s memorandum.

Each of the city?s 22 garbage trucks has a fuel allocation ranging from 1,200 to 2,300 liters per month. With the cuts the garbage trucks will only receive an allocation from 900 to 1,725 liters.

Among the measures adopted are shutting off the trucks engine, while collecting garbage and collecting garbage in areas that the trucks will pass which are not under their jurisdiction.

Garbage trucks in the city are assigned to collect in specific areas of the city.

Gualiza, however, said that at the dumping site, the trucks could not turn off their engines because these would be needed to dump the garbage.

But while collecting the garbage, he said: ?At least in few minutes we can save on fuel.?

Gualiza said the DPS is adopting these measures to see if they can cope with the fuel allocation reduction.

If the DPS could not cope even with the cost-cutting measures, then he said he would write the mayor explaining the department?s failure to comply with his memorandum.

He reiterated that garbage collection can?t be sacrificed.

?Paninghaon namo nga makuha ang 25 percent pero kon di, di sab mahimo nga ihunong ang pagkulekta sa basura bisan usa ka adlaw lang kay manimaho ang siyudad (We?ll do our best to cope with having a 25-percent fuel allocation cut. But then garbage collection can?t be stopped for a day or else the city will smell),? Gualiza said.

Cebu City Councilor Augustus Pe Jr. encouraged the public and the media to help monitor policemen?s use of police cars after Mayor Osmeña exempted the police vehicles from the fuel allocation cuts.

Pe said Sunday the public should help monitor and report abusive policemen and take note of their trips.

He cited an example some policemen who eat in carinderias (eateries) without turning off the engine of their patrol cars.

The mayor?s memorandum on conserving energy orders drivers of city-owned vehicles to turn off their air-conditioning units if not in use and for the trip tickets to be strictly monitored by the Cebu City Traffic Operations and Management.

On June 6, the mayor issued a memorandum ordering an across the board 25 percent fuel allocation reduction of the 200 city-owned vehicles.

The cuts were part of the city?s cost-cutting measures amid the spiraling fuel price increases. /Correspondent Chris A. Ligan with a report from Correspondent Marian Z. Codilla

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