MMDA spending on garbage collection up 84% since 2018 – COA | Inquirer News

MMDA spending on garbage collection up 84% since 2018 – COA

/ 05:36 AM July 13, 2023

MMDA spending on garbage collection up 84% since 2018 – COA

COSTLY HAULERS | With still only a minority of Filipino households engaging in composting, recycling, and segregation of garbage — and with the use of plastic packaging still the norm — trash collection remains a mammoth, billion-peso endeavor, especially in Metro Manila. The Commission on Audit noted how the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s budget for haulers — like this one photographed in Cubao, Quezon City, on June 23, 2023 —has been growing each year. (File photo by NIÑO JESUS ORBETA / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — It’s getting more expensive to haul trash in Metro Manila.

According to the Commission on Audit (COA), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) spent P3.336 billion in 2022 for “environment/sanitary services,” which pertain to fees paid to companies contracted by the MMDA to collect garbage in the National Capital Region.

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Solid waste disposal and management is one of the metro-wide services that the MMDA is responsible for, along with flood control and sewerage management, and transport and traffic management.

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Significant surge

Last year, its spending on environment/sanitary services went up by 3.7 percent from 2021 and in both years, the COA did not make any observations that would have indicated irregularities or questionable transactions. However, there was a significant surge in the MMDA’s spending for garbage collection over the past five years, based on the COA’s annual audit reports on the agency that is tasked to make Metro Manila a “livable, ecological-friendly and dynamic urban center.”

In 2018, the MMDA spent just P1.817 billion for garbage hauling, which climbed to P2.049 billion in 2019.

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By 2020, the spending surged by a hefty 40.2 percent to P2.873 billion and soared further to P3.217 billion in 2021.

This means that from 2018 to 2022, the MMDA’s spending on sanitation services surged by P1.52 billion, or 83.6 percent, a significant increase that the Inquirer asked the MMDA to explain, but its public affairs office has yet to respond to queries as of writing.

Landfills almost full

The COA report also showed that available sanitary landfills are fast filling up.

In 2018, it was projected that it will take 20 years and two months for the available sanitary landfills identified to carry Metro Manila’s garbage to fill up. However, data showed that the sanitary landfills may be full within just 11 years, or by 2029, based on 2022 figures, and this assumes that the collected garbage within the country’s capital region remains the same at the 2018 level of 56,032.37 cubic meters a day.

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TAGS: Commission on Audit, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, MMDA garbage collection expenses

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