Asian Urban Information Center of Kobe

City Report and Action Plan of Olongapo

Ms. Marivic Jadulco Nierras

Ms. Marivic Jadulco Nierras
Planning Officer III,
Technical Section,
City Planning and Development Office,
Olongapo City Government,


1. City Report
2. Action Plan

1. City Report

1.1. Administrative Organizations and Duties for Urban Planning and Environmental Protection

The primary agency responsible for Environmental Protection in the city is the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through its Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) which is under the national government. Because of the growing population of the city, the watershed areas and waters are increasingly pressured. Lack of support from the national government limits the programs that are undertaken by the DENR in the area. However, Olongapo City's work coordination with DENR is doing quite well but needs further refinement in terms of issuing clearance permissions to land ownership and titling to ensure that this will not run in conflict with the approved zoning ordinance of the city.

The city's Environmental Sanitation and Management Office (ESMO) is responsible for managing the solid waste program of the city. By the structure, the Local Chief Executive has direct control and supervision over ESMO in the implementation of the system. The City Health Office complements the work through its Sanitary Inspectors who issue citation tickets to violators of City Ordinances and Sanitation Laws.

With the city government still handling the waste management system, it will be in full control. Expenditures, use of equipment and disposal methods will be better monitored. Government revenues are assured, but only if garbage fees are collected and properly managed. Vehicles and other equipment remain with the government, and may be used for other purposes during emergencies.

1.2. Environment in Urban Policy Making

Policies in the form of ordinances and executive orders were adopted in the city's solid waste management program. These policies conform to present needs and are adjusted to such exigencies as inflation, fuel price increases, base withdrawal, Mt. Pinatubo eruption, etc. Fees and rates were adjusted when the earnings in the initial years put the program in a deficit. Between 1989 and 1990, the City Council enacted eight ordinances or measures dealing with the utilization of the landfill area, the rates of solid waste collection fees, the schedules and mechanics of collection, etc.

1.3. Priority Issue and Measures

The rapid economic development and urbanization experienced by the City of Olongapo in the past decades has also resulted in a decline in the quality of its environment. The most serious environmental problems that the city faces include the following:

  1. Most of the river systems in the city are in various states of degradation, which have resulted from the indiscriminate dumping of waste by riverside residents and the heavy siltation of the natural channels. The absence of a central sewerage system in the city also contributed to the pollution of rivers. This has a major impact on the coastal marine waters, as these are the ultimate receiving bodies of water for the waste and pollution that are dumped in the river systems.
  2. Proliferation of squatters along forest areas, drainage channels and mountain areas where they can easily occupy land. The increasing population growth due to accelerated development is putting pressure in the upland areas of the city where the watershed areas are located.
  3. The declining air and noise quality in the city is another serious environmental problem that needs to be addressed by the city. The increase in mobile sources (motor vehicles) of air pollutants has further aggravated the situation. The adverse impact of the decline in the air and noise pollution of the city is an increase in the occurrence of upper respiratory diseases. The sectors highly susceptible to this are children and the elderly. It is of primary importance that this environmental problem be addressed and its adverse impacts be minimized, if not totally eliminated.

Polluted Kalaklan River

The Environmental Sanitation and Management Office (ESMO) of the city is working on possible solutions to eliminate the riverside dumping of solid waste and other waste materials which is one of the causes of the river pollution. The plans include regular collection of garbage, desilting and dredging of heavily silted waterways, conducting an intensive information and education campaign, coordinating the City Government with the private water company and sewerage companies.


Kalaklan Riverside


River cleaning activity by ESMO


2. Action Plan

2.1. Problems

The present waste generated and dumped at the existing landfill is composed of both compostable and non-compostable wastes. The site faces with funding problems for continued upgrading and has limited area for expansion.

2.2. Target Population

The targeted group is the whole city population.

2.3. Resources and Constraints

Funding is to be shouldered by the city government to initiate the program. The limited budget however, may not make the program sustainable.

2.4. Implementing Agency

City Environmental Sanitation and Management Office.

2.5. Implementation Strategies

  • Coordinate functions with relevant government offices and NGOs;
  • Orient citizens to the concept that keeping the city clean is the responsibility of everyone (not government alone) and that service has costs;
  • Create a program that is simple to understand and easy to enforce;
  • Procure equipment that is appropriate and sustainable;
  • Strictly enforce the programs with fines and penalties;
  • Respect the dignity to every stakeholder in the program

2.6. Action Plan by Quarters

Action Plan by Quarters

2.7. Monitoring System

Conduct monthly review and quarterly meetings.

Copyright © 2003 Asian Urban Information Center of Kobe. All rights reserved.