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Editorial: Doing our share in garbage disposal

The city does not lack for laws when it comes to keeping our environment clean. City Ordinance 0361-10 or The Mandatory Segregation of the Solid Waste supplements RA 9003 or the Ecological and Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 which mandates the barangays to create the Barangay Ecological Solid Waste Management Committee (BESWMC), as well as implement segregation and collection of solid waste, specifically for biodegradable, compostable, and reusable wastes.

On July 1, 2011 the ordinance, signed by Mayor Sara Duterte in May of that year, took effect in the city, and based on the implementing rules and regulations of Davao City Ecological Solid Waste Management Ordinance of 2009, corresponding sanctions and penalties face violators. Those who do not segregate wastes will be fined not more than P3,000 or a maximum imprisonment of six months. This was signed by Mayor Sara Duterte last May 3, 2011.

Initially, we saw how the people were enthusiastically separating their trash at home. But the enthusiasm slowly petered when garbage trucks hauled both biodegradable and non-biodegradable wastes on the same run. It must have been disenchanting not to mention disappointing, for those who religiously segregated their garbage only to find out that these will end up in the landfill.

Councilor Diosdado Mahipus, chair of the committee on environment, reminded barangay officials last Tuesday their responsibility not only in proper garbage disposal but in cleanliness, as well. Failing to respond to this is a “dereliction of duty,” he said.

As concerned citizen Amado Munda said in a letter to this paper, we cannot just pinpoint one barangay captain for not doing his job but take to task all 182 barangay executives to properly implement its solid waste management plan.

Be that as it may, all of us should be involved in proper waste disposal. Each one of us is guilty of improper disposal of garbage in the home, workplace or wherever we are at the moment. Our lifestyle of conspicuous consumption and waste is difficult to curb. We can only try not to use plastic or straw one day at a time.

Meanwhile, Mahipus conceded that there is a need to provide barangay execs with the necessary support.

“We even have a law covering the proper waste disposal for so long and yet, the law enforcement authorities could not fully implement this due to the lack of technical support and logistics. If I also talk to the barangays, they would just say that they could not do much because they don’t have (garbage) trucks,” he said.

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