HE did it in Davao City, why can’t other local government officials properly manage garbage collection and disposal in their towns, cities and provinces?
We are glad that a dismayed President Rody Duterte has told off mayors and governors for failing to manage garbage collection and disposal in their areas.
He is disgusted about the streets throughout the country being strewn with trash and made ugly by mounds of garbage—despite the local officials’ having discretionary funds that may be used to keep their cities clean.
“Many localities in the country are so dirty and yet the mayors are not doing anything about it,” an irked Duterte said last Friday at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency office in Davao City. He found it disagreeable that many town executives did not care about the problem. He said, “There is trash and garbage all around and if you have to wait for the plastic to go inside the drainage every time there’s a downpour and excessive rainwater, then of course there will be clogging—and floods.”
He adverted to corruption among local government officials, noting that discretionary and intelligence funds are the easiest to pocket. The President said he would form a special team that will review how local officials are using their allocations.
“I will create a special team,” he said, and addressing the nation’s LGU execs directly as if they were in front of him, added, “I will review pati ‘yung intelligence funds ninyo (also your intelligence funds). ‘Yan ang pinakamadaling mapasok sa bulsa, eh. (That’s the easiest to pocket),” he said.
He gave a command: “‘Yung mga mayor na hindi performing (Those of you who are nonperforming mayors), you make your city clean and peaceful.”
He railed at some officials, saying those who have beautiful offices and use expensive vehicles should be ashamed of themselves.
We hope Duterte’s good tough talk stirs the laggard and corrupt local government executives into mending their ways.
Remember the Payatas landslide
Managing the local garbage is a must. No garbage mountain must ever be allowed to grow again.
We must never forget Payatas.
On July 10, 2000, after being soaked through by heavy rains that came with two consecutive typhoons, north Metro Manila’s infamous huge mountain of garbage in Payatas—which had been a happy source of junk and income for squatters living nearby and on the garbage mountain itself—finally collapsed. At least 300 people—men, women and children whose families lived and earned their living on the garbage mountain—were buried alive.
This moved the authorities to close the Payatas dumpsite. Congress passed the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act. This law seeks to see the National Capital Region managing its garbage problem properly. It orders the local governments to dispose of garbage in sanitary landfills instead of throwing tons of it in unsanitary and health-hazardous open dumps that eventually bulge and grow into mountains, like Payatas.
The law’s more important goals is, however, to reduce—through recycling and composting—the amount of garbage in each household and reduce in each barangay, town and city the tons of garbage that needs to be dumped.
The law requires that half of all wastes be diverted into composting or recycling stations. The World Bank says the 50-percent requirement should rise slightly every few years until it reaches 93 percent.
It’s a very good law, says Froilan Grate, president of the Mother Earth Foundation, an organization that advocates zero waste.
But it’s not being implemented.