Opinion: Garbage Dumping…
More Fun in Bacolod?
To mark our independence yesterday, newspapers ran propaganda connecting thecelebration to love of country. LOVE OF COUNTRY? How can we talk of love of country when garbage is left unsegregated and uncollected everywhere? Does filth caused by a citizens’ indolence reflect love of country? And does filth caused by a government’s lethargy speak of the same platitude? Pres. Manuel L. Quezon once said, better a Philippines run like hell by Filipinos than a Philippines run like heaven by Americans.Obviously Manny didn’t know that hell is littered with unsegregated trash!
Another time, another Manny: As if Manny Pacquiao being cheated out of his title wasn’t enough, we also had to endure garbage mess in Bacolod City. That’s adding insult to injury. On June 10th, unsegregated garbage in Bacolod City was strewn on one major street like a Jurassic rat had scavenged through it. What made it worse was, it was left on the middle of the four-lane highway the entire day. For my Bacolod readers who would like to situate my story, I’m referring to the highway that connects the city to the town of Murcia. I posted a photo of the mess in the BACOLOD BASURA WATCH Facebook Group. I am sending the same photo to Negros Daily Bulletin with a prayer that they run it together with this column. Thank you very much.
Of course I’d be upset to see garbage scattered on any street, but especially on this highway. In light of what we’re doing to attract more visitors into our country, I have to point out that the highway leads to three major tourist attractions of the province. There’s the Mambukal Summer Resort which is always fully booked on weekends. There’s the Mt. Kanla-on National Park, the second highest peak in the country and a trophy for any mountaineer. And there’s the cool, cool mountain town of Don Salvador Benedicto, fast becoming the country’s third summer capital, after Baguio and Tagaytay. That’s not counting the dozens of biking trails that can only be reached by going through this highway. But with garbage greeting you in the middle of the road, how can touring be more fun in Negros Occidental? I would be embarrassed to recommend this to friends.
I cannot resist adding this comment: Bacolod House Representative Anthony Golez was criticized when he paved the sidewalk of the city’s main street with bricks, as if beautification is not to be desired. Now, the bricks look terrific. And if the optionto bricks is filthy garbage in the middle of the highway, I’ll take the bricks any time without thinking. Wouldn’t you?
Garbage inconsiderately littered across the highway, and then arrogantly left there the whole day without a hint of effort torectify it, smells of rotten attitude. One Facebook follower cried, SENSE OF IMPUNITY! I agree absolutely. But whose sense of impunity?We have tackled so many angles of our solid waste management problem, from the scientific to the practical, from health-related matters to the political, but we haven’t really talked about rotten attitude, have we?Again, whose rotten attitude and sense of impunity should we be talking about? In this case, those of the people who allow garbage to end up in the highway.There are three. First,the homeowners. They may be unfamiliar with trash segregation, but they’re old hags at hiring conduits to dump their trash on empty lots along the highway. Second, the conduit. Reportedly, trisikad drivers are paid to carry out the dirty job in the darkness of night. For my readers abroad, trisikads are tricycles used as a mode of public transportation. While pedaling does not emit carbon dioxide, dumping unsegregated garbage in open lots causesdeadlier methane to escape.
Third is government. Taking rotten attitude and impunity by the horn may be the hardest duel to engage in this advocacy, but for sure it is the key to change, barring Martial Law. Still, a change of attitude is not impossible with education. As with all other things, resistance to segregation is supported only by ignorance. If only we know what dangers unsegregated garbage pose to our health and well-being, I am sure that those who say that garbage segregation is a tiresome task will not find it tiresome anymore. But the problem is,government keeps people dumb. WHY?
Over the weekend a picture was posted on the BACOLOD BASURA WATCH Facebook of our new P32 Million sanitary landfill. Piled beside it was unsegregated garbage. I was livid. I predicted this would happen, that because we have delayed teaching people how to segregate trash, time will come when unsegregated garbage will be sent to the sanitary landfill. If the DENR does not act on this, then the agency is truly worthless. The drivers of the garbage trucks that dumped the trash there, and the management of the landfillthat looked the other way, should all be sent to jail.
The Facebook post blamed bad condition of roads leading to the open dumpas the reason why the unsegregated trash instead ended up next to the landfill. Not to justify the existence of this medieval open dump, but why was the road to it not maintained before the rains came? No wonder we have uncollected trash in the city, our trucks are in disrepair owing to bad roads. Now we see the entire spectrum of solid waste management problems in the city. Everywhere you look, every angle you check, there is a stumbling block to the enforcement of solid waste management. It’s amess!