WE HAVE been criticized for our habit of littering and dumping our garbage around but if there’s one thing that Covid-19 pandemic has taught us Filipinos, then that is proper hygiene and sanitation.
But sadly, the photo below, which was taken at the height of the preparation of the workers of the LGU of Bugo, doesn’t seem to show.
A dump of garbage like that will definitely become a breeding ground for flies, cockroaches, rats or mice, etc; and these pests and insects can become vectors or disease-carrying creatures. In the absence of adequate garbage and pest control, we are risking ourselves to many bacterial, viral, and parasitic diseases such as tetanus, hepatitis A, hookworm, among others.
At the start of the spread of the corona virus December last year in Wuhan, China, the senators in the Philippines have actually set a date for an inquiry into the lack of proper hygiene and sanitation facilities in the communities in the country commenting that there seems to be no strong enforcement of the 44-year-old Presidential Decree No 856 or the Code of Sanitation of the Philippines.
Sanitation and disposal facilities is just one if the issues surrounding solid waste management in the Philippines. In Bugo, there are actually disposal facilities placed - there’s one found in the public cemetery and others are in more open spaces - to cater to recyclable and biodegradable materials. Another issue is waste collection. Kagawad Rod Cabana, in charge of sanitation in Bugo, said that the barangay actually collects garbage from houses on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and it is the garbage collector from the city LGU for the rest of the days of the week. No collection on weekends. The law on solid waste management, according to him, imposes a fine of P2,000 for violators who will be caught dumping garbage. As of this time, he revealed that the barangay is still waiting for the violation receipt from the city LGU that will specify the penalty with regards violation of ordinance on sanitation in the barangay level. Although, googling about ordinance violation receipt in the city, it has actually been approved by the council since August last year.
In Cagayan de Oro City, Bugo is one of the barangays that is prone to flooding. Being a resident here all my life, flooding has been a longstanding problem as far as I can remember. When we continue to indiscriminately dump garbage, it will most likely make flooding in Bugo go from bad to worse.
Because of the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have stepped up our hand-washing practice, in particular. The World Health Organization calls this practice “Safe Hands.” And whether you are ‘just’ a renter here or a lumad Bugohanon (born and will probably find your body burried here), another thing that we should step up and never forget especially at this time of a health crisis is our sense of responsiblity for the cleanliness of our own backyard and not wait for the same LGU workers who have been criticised for packing a low quality of rice to clean up our own mess. The level of cleanliness of our community is actually a reflection of our quality as residents here.
Kudos to the zone leader who really made sure that the information about the dump of garbage is acted on despite their busy schedule and to the barangay administration who we hope will continue to campaign for cleanliness; and kudos for decent-minded Bugohanons who will choose to do their part to protect and not to bring the barangay down.