Case study: Cagayan de Oro, Philippines

Context and description:

Cagayan de Oro is a highly urbanised city in the region of Northern Mindanao and the 10th most populous city in the Philippines. It is the capital of the province of Misamis Oriental where it is geographically located.

According to the 2015 census, the population of Metro Cagayan de Oro is estimated to be 1.37 million. Located along the north central coast of Mindanao island facing Macajalar Bay, the city is covering an area of 413 km² and has a tropical monsoon climate, with a wet and dry season. The survey was conducted during the dry season.

The motivation for undertaking the WFD was to understand and visualise the plastic leakage at different MSWM stages, in order to come up with solutions to further improve the performance of the MSWM system. This case study was implemented under leadership of the UN Habitat HOCCI programme.

Lessons Learned & Challenges

  • The data published is collected in line with the WaCT concepts and definitions, which might not be aligned by similar concepts and requirements by laws and regulations in the Philippines when related to SWM;
  • The WFD assessment was carried out during the Covid-19 pandemic, in tandem with a WaCT assessment. Therefore, it was not possible for a consulting team to visit the city due to travel and cross-infection restrictions, however, the city committed to undertaking the full assignment on their own with remote guidance and backstopping support;
  • The city team was fantastic in their ability to mobilise the survey teams for the assessment and conducted a very thorough assessment;
  • The main lesson learnt was that a city/municipal team can do a WFD assessment, so long as they have backstopping support for understanding the methodology, approach and toolkit, and quality assuring the final output.

Use of WFD / Triggered Change

  •  The WFD (and WaCT) assessment fed into a wider project managed by UN-Habitat, ‘Health Oceans and Clean Cities Initiative’, the focus of which was on reducing marine plastic pollution;
  • The WFD assessment provided an authoritative baseline upon which to design follow-up ‘Action Planning’ initiatives, with the City decision makers taking a lead role in formulating and adopting pollution prevention measures.

This case study’s data was collected by UN Habitat and is part of the Compendium The Waste Flow Diagram: Identifying Leakages from Municipal Waste Management Systems.

This blog article can also be read as a PDF.

The compendium can be downloaded here.

Waste Flow Diagram