cartoon by rOgerb
BY ROGER M. BALANZA
Lost in the brouhaha over Mayor Sara Duterte’s punching of a court sheriff, was the import of July 1, 2011, the day that the local government had announced as the start of the full implementation of RA 9003 or the Ecological Solid Management Act.
RA 9003 mandates households to segregate household wastes. Only residual garbage would be collected by garbage men to end at the city’s Sanitary Landfill, with the recyclable and biodegradable garbage left to households to handle.. Stiff penalties are in store for violators who would not practice segregation and recycling, including fines and community service for the recidivists.
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A revolution of sort had happened in many households since the local government announced the start of the program: mothers patiently explaining to children the meaning of bulok and di nabubulok; barangay officials mapping out plans on orienting households on the rudiments of RA 9003 and the local government’s new program on garbage collection.
The success of the program has yet to be assessed the implementation still being at the early stage, but Dabawenyos should understand that compliance to RA 9003 is an investment on health and the environment.
Accordingly, the city’s P300 million Sanitary Landfill has a lifespan of 15 years. This could stretch to 25 years if every household would cut down the volume of their garbage that should go to the landfill.
The better we manage our garbage, the better we protect health and the environment.
The more we cut down our garbage, the more we protect the investment we poured into the Sanitary Landfill.
Mayor Sara Duterte showed a big heart for the urban poor when she punched court sheriff Abe Andres for refusing to stay a court-ordered demolition of shanties in Agdao district that would have left more than 200 families homeless.
In the local implementation of RA 9003, Mayor Duterte should exert the same energies, if not more, to make the garbage segregation policy successful to protect the health of the Dabawenyos and the environment.
We are not saying that Mayor Duterte shoot the violators and dump them into the garbage bin—-a punch to the face that Andres suffered—will do.
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