Itogon Local Government Pledges Action to Address Open Waste Burning After ZWB-ADRA Study

March 12, 2024 Itogon Municipality– Zero Waste Baguio (ZWB) along with ADRA Philippines shared the results of the baseline study on the open burning of waste practices and compliance to national and local solid waste laws of households and businesses in Itogon to the Local Government of Itogon. Local officials who were present in the event were members of the Sangguniang Bayan (Local Council), headed by Vice Mayor Dax Godio, Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer (MENRO) Jones Bauzon Jr., Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Engineer Cyril Batcagan, Municipal Health Officer Dr. Oliver Guadana. The barangays local government units were also present in the event.

Ms. Vicky Bautista the head of research team of ZWB presented the results gathered from 377 households and 94 business establishments in nine (9) barangays of Itogon. The result of the study revealed the following information on open waste burning:  55.3% of businesses and 74.59% of households admitted they openly burn their waste and burning is practiced even by those who bring residuals to the collection area.

In terms of frequency of burning, the data shows households  (HH) and businesses burn their waste in these frequencies: more than once per week, 6.05 % of households and 9.62 % of business, at least once a week 60.14 of households and 59.62% of businesses. At least once a month’s data shows, 29.54% for households and 25.0% for businesses.  The study also disclosed the estimated volumes of waste burned each time: 75.44% of the HHs and 80.39% of businesses said that they burn more than 1 kilogram of waste; 15.30% of HHs and 9.80% of businesses burn 1 and ½ to 1 kilogram of waste each time. In terms of  distance of the sites where they burn their waste 48. 21% of the household respondents and 63.46% of the businesses burn more than 5 meters away from their houses and from their businesses while 12.14% of the households and 7.69% of the businesses burn within a 2-meter radius from their location. There are no common burning areas used by most members of the community.

The health implications of Open Burning of Waste:

Dr. Ofelia Giron, a professor in Chemistry at the University of the Philippines Baguio and the Project Technical Consultant of Zero Waste Baguio shared the impacts of waste burning to the health of those who are exposed to such open burning waste practices. She cited that burning of waste coming from different kinds of rubbish when burned will produce a toxic chemical compound called dioxin and prolonged exposure to this chemical can cause cancer, heart and circulation problems, liver damage, reduced reproductive capacity, and suppressed immune and nervous system.

Response from Local Government of Itogon:

The Office of Legislative Body recognized the problem that was presented during the meeting. They said that they will share the information with their mayor and come out with an action plan focused on addressing open burning. The LGU commits to review their ordinances especially on the functionality of the Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs); system of collection, and management of garbage. The Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office also commits to address the problem of open dumping of waste while the Municipal Engineer seeks to address management of waste from small scale mining activities.


The Baseline study on Open Burning of Waste is a collaboration project of Adventist Development and Relief Agency and Zero Waste Baguio and funded by UK Royal Academy of Engineering. The objective of the study is to understand the prevalence of open burning of waste in Itogon Municipality and to assess its impact to human health and safety.  The result of the study will also guide the local government of Itogon in implementing a strategy to improve community’s solid waste management and thereby reduce the risk of open burning of waste to human health and safety.