Trash talk-A A +A
Monday, June 25, 2012
OVER the weekend, from the grass verge and canal that bounds Casa Covington, I collected two bags of trash casually flung down over the past five schooldays by passing students from Buhangin's Bernardo Carpio National High School - ice-water cellophanes, drinking straws, styrofoam cups, snack packets - but a chore I'll maybe not be doing much longer as June 28 looms; the day when the citywide plastic bag and styrofoam food container ban comes into effect.
Or will it?
On the one hand, since the original fan-fared declaration, the city has been backpedaling furiously with no less than Councilor Melchor Quitain, chair of the City Council committee on ethics and good governance, saying that the implementation of the plastic bag ban 'will continue pending - important word that - pending the plan of the council to amend the ordinance' which is SP-speak for watering the bill down to virtual uselessness.
On the other hand Roberto Alabado of the City Planning and Development Office is made of sterner stuff, declaring that, 'There's no way to delay the implementation of the measure since it should have been implemented long ago'. Two years ago, in fact.
Sitting on the fence is Cenro, Davao City Environment and Natural Resources Office, you know, the folks mandated to look after the environment, who agree that, yes, the ban for all non-biodegradeable bags will start on June 28 but - ahem - not the styrofoam ban which has been moved to an 'indefinite' date. The phrase 'chickening out' comes to mind.
For much of last week we watched TV news footage of passenger-carrying motorcycles with sidecars - payong-payong - being apprehended and carted off by the hundred to the LTO's Ecoland yard. The list of misdemeanors was almost in the hundreds too - no driving license, temporary permit only, operating on a national highway, 'sounds', unregistered, no plates, a list as long as your arm.
Said Chief Inspector Rodel Poliquit, traffic group chief, 'The operation was their response to the call of Vice-Mayor Duterte directing them to clean the highways of these motorcycles' and I ask what sort of statement is that? Why, oh why, does it always - always - take the Mayor or Vice-Mayor to get these various agencies of their collective butts to do their duty?
Lastly and much to the joy of Sylvia Elorde - Vice-Mayor, Bunawan, Agusan del Sur - the giant crocodile snared last year has earned a Guinness Book of records mention as the world's largest captured saltwater crocodile. Gushed Sylvia, 'Lolong (the croc) is also seen to boost Bunawan's economy by creating a new world-class tourist attraction'. I suggest, Sylvia, that you refer to recent Sun.Star features on Malaysia and Thailand to learn what a truly 'world-class' tourist attraction is. A crocodile in a cement pit hardly larger than itself don't come anywhere close.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 26, 2012.