Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Garbage deal heralds taxes on collections



Garbage deal heralds taxes on collections

Garbage deal heralds taxes on collections

P

HNOM Penh Muncipality has signed a 25-year concession contract with the French

company Asia Pacific Development (APD) which is intended to revolutionize

garbage collection in the city. But it could mean hefty charges for residents

and businesses.

City authorities are to impose a "rubbish" tax on all

households and businesses to pay ADP to run the new service which is to begin on

June 2.

Rates for the new tax have yet to be decided but ADP has

proposed either a flat charge of around $28 per month per household and $120 per

month for larger businesses, or it may charge according to volume of rubbish.

Sam Samuth, deputy director of the Municipality's City Cleaning Service,

which is currently responsible for garbage collection admits the company's

proposed charges are expensive but said: "The rates are still open for

discussion."

Samuth admitted the Municipality may have been hasty in

signing the contract with APD without agreeing on charges.

A copy of the

contract obtained by the Post says: "Both sides [APD and the Municipality] will

study the level of tax needed, it will depend on how much the company has to

spend to keep the city clean. They will calculate a reasonable price."

The Municipality is to assist the company in the collection of the tax

and will impose fines on non-payers, Samth said.

He added his

department's 690 employees will be transferred to ADP.

Previously rubbish

collection was free but notoriously bad due to lack of government funds, with

many areas of the city blighted by piles of uncollected trash.

Some more

conscientious companies in the city have been donating 1,500,000 to 2,000,000

riel per month towards the cost of garbage collection.

Under the contract

ADP will pay the city $55,000 in the first five years for the concession. The

amount will increase by 10 percent over each subsequent five years during the

25-year term. All revenues from the rubbish tax will go to the

company.

ADP representative Yannick Mache is due to arrive in Phnom Penh

today (May 20) to begin work on setting up the new service and negotiate with

the municipality to fix the charges.

The company plans to invest $20

million and is to import new garbage trucks and other equipment.

Samuth

said that the signing of the contract had been a big relief for cash-strapped

city authorities. Of 30 plus garbage trucks only 15 were servicable, he said,

while the city was spending $6,000 a month to hire additional trucks to tote

rubbish to the dump at Stung Meanchey.

He added: "To have a French

company sign this contract is a good prospect for us to relieve both pollution

and financial problems."

Samuth admitted the city was in such desperate

financial straits that it was sometimes unable to pay its workers their daily

pay rates of 1,500 riel.

Keo Savin, director of the Municipality's Public

Works and Transport Department expressed fears that ADP might withdraw from the

contract as other companies who have signed deals with the city in the past have

done.

He said: "If the contract is broken, the Municipality would face

serious financial difficulty over the next few months."

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting