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Garbage everywhere

Dave Achondo

GARBAGE pollution is a problem that seems to be getting bigger each minute. If this problem isn’t solved soon, then we would all be living in a world turned into a gigantic dumpsite.

Earlier this week as I was riding a motorela to work, I noticed garbage piled up. On my usual route towards Cogon, I saw plenty of it.  I didn’t see enough trash bins.

As I arrived in the office, I read a story regarding the plans of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Commission to slap barangay officials with charges if they are caught not implementing the Solid Waste Management Act.

However, barangay officials shouldn’t be the only ones facing charges for trash problems. The government should also slap with charges the people who throw their garbage anywhere.

In Barangay Macasandig, some people just don’t know where their household garbage should be dumped. Some even have the gall to hang their garbage in someone else’s gate, hoping for it to be picked up the following day. Tinapulan na style.

RA 9003, otherwise known as the Solid Waste Management Act, cannot be implemented properly even if surprise visits are done by the commission since there will always be that one guy who would throw garbage away anywhere and at anytime of the day.

I see two things that could also hinder the implementation of this law. First is the lack of discipline of some people who just don’t know where to throw their garbage even if it hits them in the face. Second is the barangays’ lack of resources such as dumpsters, garbage collectors and utility vehicles, among other things.

It is not entirely the fault of barangay officials that they cannot implement it properly because it’s not their fault if the people living there are somewhat irresponsible to begin with. That is why to be fair, everyone caught should face the consequences.

Have you seen this city’s drains and creeks lately? Have you passed by the Bitan-ag Creek? That place is being occupied by informal settlers who are turning it into an open dumpsite which in turn wreaks havoc during rainy days just like the one experienced by this city in Jan. 16.

I think here both citizens and the barangay have to work together to lessen the problem. I know the barangay is mandated by law to implement RA 9003 but the reality is, we are living in a place that’s not perfect. The challenges of each barangay here is how to ensure that its people are dumping garbage in the right places, and to have sufficient dumpsters.

The city government should also find a long-term solution to the city’s garbage problems, and work hand-in-hand with barangay officials to address the growing problem regardless of political color. Planning is good, but now is the time to act as this city is growing rapidly before our very eyes, and we can clearly see it cannot cope with the change. If you think Cagayan de Oro’s traffic is bad, wait until this city is littered with trash from all directions.

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About Dave Achondo

Dave Achondo
A person who enjoys doing what he does best – writing anything under the sun; strong-willed and straight to the point. Contributor at SOUTHWALL Magazine a Cebu-based company under Soline Publishing, A former Feature Editor, Business Editor, and Columnist of Mindanao Gold Star Daily, and is the currently its Digital Marketing Head.

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