IN KEEPING our environment and city clean, a bulk of the implementation of environmental program falls upon the barangay. The barangay is the arm of the government that can implement measures to protect the environment and implement the government efforts in conserving it.
However, the “protecting the environment” function may have been something some barangay officials have forgotten about. We see clogged canals, trash in different areas of the barangay, and the lack of proper waste management.
A good example was the recent post of Datu Bago Awardee and D'Bone Museum Curator Darrell Blatchley of a clogged canal in Barangay 37-D in Bucana.
He took the initiative to clean the canal with his staff.
Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año have reminded barangay officials to implement measures for the protection of the environment.
“Be advocates for the environment. Protection of the environment and proper solid waste management practices should start in our barangays in order to prevent clogging of drainage systems which may lead to flooding,” Año said.
DILG undersecretary for barangay affairs Martin Dino have also warned barangays that charges will be filed against barangay officials for failing to implement proper waste management in their area in accordance to Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.
These administrative charges for negligence of duty may result in the suspension or removal from office of barangay officials. You can report erring barangay officials to Hotline 8888 or directly to the DILG.
RA 9003 mandates barangay officials to establish a Barangay Ecological Solid Waste Management Committee and to impose proper segregation and collection of garbage particularly the biodegradable, compostable, and reusable wastes.
“If we are serious about protecting the environment, we really have to follow through with the implementation of these laws. Matagal nang nariyan ang mga batas ngunit kulang sa ngipin at implementasyon kaya patuloy tayong nagkakaron ng problema tulad ng Boracay at ng Manila Bay. The law is the law and we will implement it,” Año said.
On top of implementing national environmental laws, the barangays are also encouraged to come up with their respective environmental measures that will complement these laws. Here in Davao City, one of the strategies that they may want to begin with is an effective communications campaign. They could always tap Cenro and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to help them conduct the campaign. A well informed barangay goes a long way in protecting the environment.
While some barangays are able to deliver some social services, they have to step up their game when it comes to the protection of the environment.
There are a lot of evidences right before our eyes that shows that some of them are not doing their job in protecting the environment.
Instead of putting the blame on someone or something, they should instead focus on how they will ensure the environment is clean and have sustainable environmental measures in place.