DAVAO City is booming, its people are progressing, but solid waste management remain in the doldrums, the major challenge to the city with a population density of 1,632,991 based on the 2015 Census of Population (Popcen).
Maychel S. de Leon, barangay administrator of the 76-A, admitted that their barangay is facing challenges associated with waste generation, inadequate waste collection from some of their constituents, treatment and disposal, in spite of the efforts by the government.
"The problem is the people who lack discipline. It's either they do not care with their surroundings or they are just too lazy. Though many of the residents here are following the policy on waste disposal, there are still people who dispose their trash anywhere," de Leon said.
One of their challenges is at the Purok 12, the Badjao area, where some of them in the area are still having hard time to dispose their garbage properly. The Badjaos here are used to throw their waste and garbage directly to the beach, where they also get their foodstuffs.
De Leon said the barangay is doing its best for the Badjao community to follow the proper waste disposal. She added that if they cannot yet do the proper waste segregation, at least, they have the idea where they should dispose their waste and garbage: not on the beach.
Then there are the hardheaded residents, and the household cost of segregation.
"They are having difficulty in following the waste segregation because one sack cost too much for them, considering that the sacks of garbage would be collected during the garbage collection and they have to buy another sack for the waste segregation, ingon ana," she said.
De Leon said ambulant vendors living under the barangay would also have to bring home the garbage they'd got from selling goods, as throwing garbage outside or in downtown area is not allowed. She added that this garbage should be disposed and collected in their place.
She said the barangay has been constantly reminding the constituents of their responsibility on the environment and the consequences of the proper waste disposal and waste segregation. She added that despite of the challenges, they continue to do their job as public servant.
De Leon said the barangay has also applied before the City Government of Davao to avail itself of the citation ticket, which will be issued to those who will violate the proper waste disposal and waste segregation.
She added that what they can only do for now is to monitor and remind their constituents about the dos' and don'ts in throwing the waste/garbage.
The barangay has eight basura (garbage) patrollers, who do the monitoring and reminding the residents from time to time on their responsibility. The Barangay 76-A has an estimated 110,000 population, with 64,000 registered voters. It is divided into three areas, the Bucana Proper, Kabacan Times Beach in Ecoland, and SIR Phase 1 and Phase 2 Matina.
"If I am not mistaken, the Barangay 76-A has the largest population among the other barangays here in Davao City. So kompleto tanan tao diri, there are law abiding citizens, naa pud kailangan nimo uyun-uyonan para lang jud mupatuo, there are those who complain pero mutuman sa policy, and there are hardheaded residents, wa ra jud," de Leon said.
A dustcart from City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) collects garbage every day. In Bucana Proper, it will collect garbage -- Monday at Dapsa Singkwang; Tuesday at Purok 2-5 Barangay Hall; Wednesday at Sto. Rosario, Nograles Avenue; Thursday at Seawall Purok 8-9; Friday at Busna Covered Court; and Saturday at Nograles Gym.
"Pero dili tanan basura makolekta sa truck kay usahay inig sulod ana diri, naa na man pud na unod. So what we usually do, naa man mi mini-truck, ginakolekta sa amo basura patrollers kining bahaw na basura ug ibutang didto sa tapok na scheduled the following day kuhaon," de Leon said.
De Leon said the barangay makes sure that its surrounding is somehow clean and it will not smell foul odor. She also expressed gratitude toward the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) for offering the "work-for-a-cause" to their constituents. Volunteers for a certain period of time will be paid about P340 a day to maintain their place clean.
A City Ordinance 0361-10 or The Mandatory Segregation of the Solid Waste has been implemented in Davao City. But the Cenro earlier admitted that there is more to be done to guarantee the compliance to a proper waste disposal, as there are still people who failed to follow the same policy.
The City has implemented the ordinance under the Ecological Solid Wasted Management Ordinance of 2009, which is requiring households/establishments to segregate wastes into biodegradable, recyclable and residual. Cenro collects residual and special, while biodegradable wastes must be converted into compost, and recyclable place to junk shops.
Anyone who will be caught violating the ordinance will have to pay P300 fine and attend seminar for the first offense, P500 fine or five-day community service for second offense, and P1,000 or 10-day community service for third offense. The fourth and succeeding offenses shall be prosecuted by the court.