Editorial: Political Will-A A +A
Thursday, September 19, 2013
The closure of a dumpsite in Bontoc, Mountain province tells us how political will is strong in this town.
Mayor Franklin Odsey complied with environmental laws and at the same time averted a possible garbage crisis.
Not only did he avert a possible crisis but he also stopped the pollution of the Chico River, one of Cordillera’s longest river which traverses part of Benguet to Mountain Province and down to the Province of Kalinga.
Prior to the closure, a Writ of Kalikasan was filed by the Kalinga Anti-pollution Action Group against the municipality for dumping garbage along Chico River in violation of the constitutional right of people living downstream for balanced and healthful ecology.
Having the guts and balls to close the dumpsite near the Chico River is one good sign the officials of Bontoc are keen on solving their garbage problem even without the talks of money unlike their counterpart in this part of the country where money is always the issue.
With more resources, in terms of the internal revenue allotment, Baguio City’s garbage problem has practically eaten up some of the Summer Capital’s fund which amounts to more than P30 million for hauling alone.
Prior to the closure, the Bontoc local government initiated plans such as the scheduling of garbage collection, conduct of information, education, and communication (IEC) on proper waste segregation, and training of green police.
Two training sessions were conducted for members of the green police where the first training was financed by Environmental Management Bureau-CAR while the second was financed by the town.
The green police will conduct IEC and monitor the barangays on the proper segregation and schedule of waste collections and will return unsegregated wastes to the constituents.
Another program is the “Oplan pera sa basura” that will be participated in by all schools within the 16 barangays. Under it, the schools will be clustered into Central; Riverside; Alab, Balili, Gonogon; and Upland.
The mechanics will be communicated to the schools soon so the prizes of winning schools will be given during the commencement exercises next year.
In the end, the programs being implemented by Bontoc after the closure of its dumpsite will not only benefit their constituents but it will also pave way for a better environment.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 20, 2013.