Booming population piles up Tuguegarao trash

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TUGEGARAO CITY: Owing to its booming population, the city government here is racing against time to solve the city’s mounting garbage problem.

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Mayor Jefferson Soriano, a first termer, said the city government—the government center for Region 2—seeks to rid the city’s tag as one of the dirtiest cities in the country.

In 2011, Tuguegarao City, the capital of Cagayan province, was described as the third dirtiest city in the country by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Also dubbed as the city of Ibanags, the National Statistics Office (NSO) said Tuguegarao is “the most heavily populated among the four cities in Cagayan Valley, although it has the smallest land area.”

In terms of population based on latest census, Maryjane Cabauatan, NSO regional statistician, said Tuguegarao has 138,865 registered inhabitants followed by Ilagan City with 135,174; Santiago City has 132,804; and Cauayan City, 122,335.

“[Tuguegarao’s] population size makes up 12.3 percent of the total population of Cagayan province [and]despite the fact that it is the smallest in terms of land area, it has the largest number of constituents,” Cabauatan said.

The city of Tuguegarao has an area of 144.80 square kilometers while Ilagan City has 1,166.2 square kilometers; Santiago, which is the first city in the region, also dubbed as the regional center of commerce, has the smallest area, which is 275 square kilometers; third largest area is Cauayan City with 336.40 square kilometers.

According to NSO, the increase in population of Tuguegarao can be attributed to childbirth or fertility rate of the residents; migration of some families from the far- flung areas for livelihood and education opportunities is another factor.

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