THE City Government's anti-littering drive, consonant to provisions of the Solid Waste Management and Ecological Act, has netted a total of 177 violators in its first two weeks of operation.

Upon orders of Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, the enforcement team headed by Superintendent Eugenio Espejo of the Iloilo City Police Office, was revived and given more powers to apprehend violators who are litter bugs, urinating in the streets or public places and those throwing their garbage indiscriminately in other places outside the garbage collection area.

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Mabilog reported that the solid waste enforcement team had increased its operation and apprehended 177 violators in the period of July 1-15, 2010. This is a marked increase of apprehension as compared to only seven violators last May.

However, only 30 violators paid a fine of P500 each or a total of P15,000, while 147 have not yet paid their fines.

The city mayor said he is waging a war against garbage by showing strong political will in implementing the law. The new drive is expected to be ongoing and serious in the city's campaign against garbage and litter bugs.

Mabilog said the renewed city anti-littering campaign will be complemented by legal services offered by members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Iloilo chapter in pursuing cases against violators.

Most violators claimed they do not know the existing law against garbage littering in the city. But Espejo said this is just the violator's alibi upon apprehension.

City Regulation Ordinance 147, which embodies provisions of the Solid Waste Management Act, was in effect and implemented since 1998 and city residents are aware of the law. (Lydia C. Pendon)