NO MATTER how much we scream and shout, if government truly can’t do it alone, then we should take the initiative.

Isn’t this the essence of community? Helping one another towards a common goal?

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In light of the fact that the City Government’s hands are tied by a number of bureaucratic red tape, the Baguio community must take on the task for its own good.

The efforts being done by the Catholic Diocese of Baguio and Benguet is showing the way for the rest of us to follow with regards to the garbage problem of the city when it constructed its own materials recovery facility within the grounds of the Cathedral of Perpetual Atonement.

Facilities like this are needed in order to lessen the amount of garbage we have to haul out to Capas, Tarlac – the only engineered sanitary landfill willing to accept our trash.

And this task is not in any way a small contribution to lessening the money the city spends just to haul away our garbage. (The latest estimate is that the city will have to shell out another P100 million in the next couple of months so this Summer Capital, the City of Pines, the City of Panagbenga will not reek and keep the tourists away.)

The MRF of the diocese is only one of several measures we as members of one community can do towards a cleaner Baguio. Just recently the Alay sa Kalinisan, Inc. chose its cleanest and greenest barangays. It is also a small effort, but with huge consequences, towards cleaning up our act.

The search forces the barangays to institute measures to make a dent towards keeping Baguio clean and green and attractive not only for tourists but most especially for ourselves.

There are other ways of course initiated by concerned non-government organizations. But the trick still lies within all of us. To keep Baguio clean and green means for us to make sacrifices, not in monetary terms, but in lifestyle.

Each one of us must consciously adhere to the waste reduction program of the City Government, which in sum is simply: reduce, reuse and recycle. Reduce at source the amount of garbage (which could be as simple as using the bayong for our daily marketing chores) reused items, which can still be usable, and recycle whatever we can. (These last two are what MRFs hope to do.)

We are now in a new decade. The survival of the city depends on our collective effort to save it from environmental disaster brought about by garbage. We all have a role to play.

To coin a phrase from Baguio’s favorite senator: “Let’s do it!”