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Timesman | Happy and sad!

I AM happy but at the same time sad upon knowing that a City Councilor has finally proposed an ordinance that may educate city residents on the proper disposal of human wastes and not just dump them in open spaces in the city.

Happy, because a request I wrote in this corner more than five decades ago for our city officials then to look into the unhygienic practices of some businessmen such as dumping human wastes into canals along Quimpo Boulevard which directly flowed to Times Beach, has finally been taken cognizance by our lawmaking body.

Sad, because I was worried for those that got sick and died while others might still suffering until now after they were infected by this disease-borne coliform bacteria in the mouth of Davao River which the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau in Davao Region certified at 900,000 most probable number (MPN) per 100 millimeters (ML) when the standard level for non-drinking water is 100 mpn of coliform per 100 ml.

Third District Councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte, chair of the Council’s committee on health, said in a privilege speech in last Tuesday’s session that the “DENR-EMB revealed during last Friday’s inter-agency meeting with the City Health that the number of coliform bacteria in the mouth of Davao River is ‘overwhelmingly high’.”

She is pushing for a zero open defecation ordinance for the city government to direct the City Health Office to conduct an inventory of the households that do not have toilets with septic tanks on the whole length of the city’s shoreline in the downtown area and upland communities.

“It is high time we stop dumping human waste into the Davao River and its tributaries. In fact we should altogether stop dumping human waste directly into the environment,” said Villafuerte who is a physician.

Sometime in the early part of the 80s I wrote in my column about the illegal practice of a certain tanker owner in the city siphoning human waste from household septic tank.

But instead of dumping the collected waste to designated area somewhere in Calinan district, the tanker driver just dumped the load of his tanker into an open canal with flowing water along Quimpo Boulevard, particularly in front of Dona Luisa Village Phase 2 where I resided for almost 35 years. The flowing water passes through the underground drainage inside the Village and directly goes to Times Beach.
The illegal practice went on for quite a time until that portion of Quimpo Boulevard was developed into a commercial area and the open canal was totally vanished when a five-storey commercial building was built right on top of it.

I still believe that this unscrupulous businessman continues his illegal practice but this time dumping waste somewhere within the city as this is a big savings on gasoline if the tanker containing human waste will not travel far to a dumping site outside of the city.

Villafuerte’s recommendation to have toilet and septic tank in every household may not hold water to some poor families living in the shorelines. For sure they will say, wala na ngang pambili ng bigas, how much more for toilet and septic tank!
The Villafuerte proposal was approved on first reading in last Tuesday council’s session. Congratulations!

Alleged “Drug Queen” of Caloocan Guia Gomez Castro has three warrants of arrests – a standing arrest warrant issued in 2002 for selling, delivery, and distribution of illegal drugs; warrants of Arrest in 2003 and 2011, both for issuing bouncing checks, said NCRPO chief, Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar.

Only one of these three warrants is enough for the police to put the “Drug Queen” behind bars as Castro, aside from her being into illegal drugs, is also an elected barangay chairwoman of Caloocan and known to everyone in Manila. But why she is still at large?

From 2002, 2003, 2011, and up to this year when her name became a byword, she remains scot-free. Mahirap talagang hanapin ang taong hindi hinahanap!
Eleazar also bared that the “Drug Queen” left the country on Sept. 21 for Bangkok, Thailand, and later went to Taiwan. On Sept. 25, she arrived in the US, particularly in Los Angeles, California.

I congratulate the NCRPO chief for his detailed itinerary of the elusive “Drug Queen”.
Pero Chief, kailan naman kaya natin siya mahuhuli!


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