WELL, it’s about time the city revisits Republic Act 9003. The law calls for waste minimization, specifically resource conservation and recovery, segregation at source, reduction, recycling, re-use, and composing, in order to promote environmental awareness and action among the citizenry.
Like in many laws and ordinances, Filipinos ignore this ecological solid waste management laws. In some of our malls, the elevators say stationary riders to stay at the right to allow customers in a rush right of way. Guess what? Nine out of 10 think they have the right of use of both sides.
Many Bacoleños should have a think coming. They had that when the local government strictly enforced the no jaywalking and no crash helmet ordinances. It took a P100 peso fine to make everyone think twice or thrice to violate the law. Most simply avoid the inconveniences of being accosted by traffic enforcers.
I support Bacolod City Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran who directed members of Solid Waste Action Team (Swat) to get a clear documentation of the violators of the “no segregation, no collection” policy.
The vice mayor said this week that the Swat team tried to enforce the waste segregation and documented the violators, but the videos and photos were not clear.
“They should get clear videos and photos so that it will not be denied by the violators that they are violating the waste segregation policy,” he said.
Familiaran also told the Swat team to take videos or photos of a landmark of the barangay so that its officials cannot deny non-compliance on waste segregation.
The problem with all of this is that Swat cannot cover all the bases. It’s the action of a few over the thousands of violators. According to Familiaran, only one out of 10 residents and establishments are comply with the law.
If I might suggest to the vice mayor, he should tap the citizenry as well, not simply rely on government agencies. CNN has its hashtag #CNNiReport. Here, stories that matter to its viewers, those important issues in their community, personal experience they’re going through or their perspective on the news of the day. They can post their photos and stories on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #CNNiReport.
This social networking scheme will be light on taxpayers’ pockets. It will also strengthen public transparency. Let’s learn from the tactics of human rights activists of naming and shaming powerful rights violators.
I find it also powerful method to mobilize the women, senior citizens or official looking people to voice out their disapproval on the litterbugs.
In my own personal campaign as a private citizen, it takes just a firm comment on smokers to stop to throw their cigarettes…unfortunately out in the streets where these cigarettes add to the solid waste.
At any rate, let’s score victories one after another in making our laws work.
(Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)