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Alan Gensoli

The Great Stink

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Thames was the main source of water in Victorian London. Waterwheels moved water from the river into homes for drinking, cooking, and bathing. Starting 1815, however, household waste from sewers was discharged at the Thames. Good thing, not all could afford the fee to empty their sewers into the river. Bad thing, the sewers of poorer commoners soon overflowed into the streets. That happens when progress is not inclusive. Unlike in the Philippines where people are allowed to build houses on top of creeks and rivers so they can automatically, by gravity, discharge their waste. No need for sewers and fees. I am really mocking, okay?

HIV/AIDS Cases Up, Insurance Sector Profit Down

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Yesterday the Department of Health (DOH) reported that the number of people living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in the country is projected to hit 32,379 by the end of 2014.

We always wonder at how DOH drums up updated figures on HIV/AIDS cases in the country.

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Selfie Projects

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Before I go into that, our reader Inday Berroya emailed that the tip I shared last week about cleaning recyclables in laundry washing actually has a name. Luz Sabas, the lady who thought of this method calls it the "babad pail" technique. Apparently, Ms. Sabas has been developing tips since the 60s. I thank her for keeping at it. God knows we still need reminding.

Yesterday, Rep. Lito Atienza was shown on TV blasting the LTFRB for not fixing the problem of too many buses on EDSA. He was furious that the LTFRB has not solved it after one year. Oh, hush Lito. You sat as Environment Secretary for years and did nothing about solid waste management. And now you're upset with lazy people. Serves you right.

Now, on to selfie projects. A recent news report disclosed that the Philippine Ozone Desk (POD) under the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is at a quandary about disposing ozone-depleting substances (ODS). Their reason? The carbon credit market is down. What a lame excuse. The environment is at risk and the DENR is looking away. But why?

Consummate Workers

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Once in a while, there’s good news to tell. Last July 24th, at the DuPont Environmental Respect Awards held in Wilmington, Delaware, Ruby Cruz of DC Cruz Trading Corp. of Bacolod City, wowed the black-tie crowd as she accepted her title, International Ambassador of Respect. There were 10 international honorees, judged from a roster of 80 pre-qualified organizations. Ruby is the only Filipino. If I may quote from a press release of DuPont: “Ruby Cruz, CEO of Philippines-based DC Cruz, and John Cullen, Manager of Australia-based Dalby Rural Supplies, were the stars of the ten foreign companies honored during International Ambassadors of Respect awards ceremony. ‘If anything, this award is a validation that we have been doing the right thing, just as DuPont has never buckled to pressure,’ said Cruz after waiting for the room to stop cheering for her.” Congratulations, Ruby.

The Arinola Files

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I liked that SONA. I liked how PNoy elegantly took on his critics without going down to the floor with them. His computation of 100% ROI on the TESDA scholars was simple yet silencing. My only regret is that nothing at all was said about solid waste management, despite the mentions of flooding. Out of hearing out of mind, such attitude by the president redounds to patent ignorance of cabinet members. Take this:

A news item dated July 18, posted on the website of the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), reports that Sec. Ramon Paje released P50 Million to start the National Ecosavers Program (NEP). This includes printing passbooks for students to replace improvised passbooks. Related to this, Education Sec. Armin Luistro said that schools will benefit from compost fertilizer that will come from the biodegradable trash students bring in from their homes. I don’t know if I should laugh or cry.

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