Sunday, 25 December 2011


Clean-up program for JP proposed
Serene ... the Mambulao Bay in 2005. - MWBuzzpic by ARNEL P HERNANDEZ, Yokosuka, Japan.


THE GROWING population at the poblacion of Jose Panganiban and nearby baranggays has contributed much towards environmental pollution.

Their households are virtually a giant rubbish factory churning out tons of waste debris every day.

Parang, the biggest baranggay in the municipality with about 5,000 people and 500 households, is a big production center of rubbish that also spills into the nearby beach.

This baranggay, which is just on the other side of the town, has seen the inflow of migrants from far-flung baranggays of the municipality who are seeking jobs and other opportunities in the town’s commercial district.
Others came to settle in Parang as it is near the two schools – the elementary school and high school.

Over the years, the community household population exploded with makeshift shanties along the shoreline that makes up the Parang beach and on the periphery of the former mangrove swamps at the backyard of Parang.

The shoreline and the swampland are the only available spots in which new entrants in the community could squeeze in their shanties.

And these squatter houses, along with hundreds of other households across Parang, obviously don’t have toilets.

This goes to say that the household excreta, in more ways than one, have found their way to the beach, which has already been inundated by other forms of waste debris.

The municipal government, which has been under pressure over the growing problems posed by inefficiently collected wastes owing to the shortage of funds or the lack of it, could only turn its eye towards the opposite side.

That’s why we have a problem that has gone out of hand.
The sad state of Parang beach … a community effort is the only solution to rid this beach of all sorts of rubbish. - MWBuzzpic by AP HERNANDEZ
Aldrin Toribio, a native of Parang and a motivational speaker, said he could help in solving the rubbish pollution in the town and its immediate baranggays.

This is one reason he founded the Unlad Panganiban Movement recently, which aims to push development in Mambulao through the involvement of Mambulaoans.

Still ardently rooting for his native Parang, Toribio said first and foremost, the people must have the awareness of the problem.

He said: There should be an educational or attitudinal reorientation among the residents, which could begin at each “purok” and schools, in which they – children and adults -- would be taught how to protect the environment.

Toribio has admitted that this could be a long-term effort because “we are trying to rearrange the mindset of each and every one of our citizens … the environment has been with them all their lives and it has been taken for granted … in fact they seemed not to be aware that it exists”.

“Cleanliness begins in the family … right inside their homes and in their own yards, although in Parang, only very few had the privilege to have a yard around their house due to the dense population of this baranggay.”

He has proposed the revival of the cleanliness scheme called “Tapat ko, linis ko …” which simply means that a household is responsible for the cleanliness in front and around his house.

“We should be able to adopt the concept of duplication,” Toribio said, explaining that the clean-up that a household is doing to contain the waste it produces everyday should also be done by his immediate neighbor.

He said that a batch of 10 adjacent houses on both sides of the road doing a religious clean-up of their yards together could influence another set of 20 families nearby to do the same.

Two cell phone towers overlook a dirty community beach. There should be communication between the local government and the people about the sad state of Parang beach..
Overtime, there should be a pattern of cleanliness effort, which would no longer be difficult to carry out in the entire community.

“Baranggay people would now be conscious of the cleanliness along the road or corridors they walk on everyday and this would discourage them from throwing their little rubbish such as cigarette butts, candy wrappers, soft drink plastic packs, or ice candy tubes along the way … and instead they would keep them in their pockets and dispose them of at home in their own trash cans …”

Tricycles should be urged to carry a small container for small pieces of rubbish such as candy wrappers, purchase receipts, fruit peelings and the like.

One big help to this would be the presence of rubbish bins, or simply called “basurahan” that should be posted within a 10 to 20 meter radius. A passersby chewing bubble gum or munching candies would surely have some candy wrappers to throw away.

“If a trash container is available along the way, this fellow would be encouraged to put his rubbish in this container instead of flicking it off,” Toribio said.

For trash containers, he suggested using native baskets (made of rattan and other wildlife materials and produced by handicraft-makers from the community).

“This way, we could help them earn some money from their works,” Toribio said, who, by profession, is a registered nurse.

The LGU should be involved in the clean-up activities by making sure that rubbish collection, including along those on the beach, should be made on regular basis.

Toribio said that this would test the willingness of the baranggay officials to really bring changes in their community.

Agreeing that there is money in rubbish, an idea popularized by the slogan “pera sa basura” by the Metro Manila Commission -- now MMDA -- he has proposed the setting up of a recycling facility in every “purok” in Parang, or in every baranggay.

This time, the municipal government should be involved, due to the funding this project would require.

“But the municipal government is going to get some Php202 million funding for development from various sources, so funding for the recycling facility project should not be a problem … anyway, one of the beneficiaries of these coming funding is the environment.”

Recycling community wastes would also generate some form of livelihood to a number of people, so this project is feasible, Toribio said.

He said that recycled plastic materials, metals and other scraps now have ready market.

With this prospect, maintaining the local landfill for community rubbish would no longer be costly for the municipal government because the volume of rubbish to deal with would be reduced, Toribio said.

One important job that the J Panganiban municipal government should do, if it has not done it yet, is to pass an ordinance requiring its baranggays to maintain cleanliness in their jurisdiction, impose fines on residents who failed to keep cleanliness in their surroundings and also fine people who would be littering.

Aside from the penalty, violators should be required to do community clean-up service.

Violators would be issued violation tickets which they would to pay direct to the LGU unit and properly receipted to maintain transparency.

This way, the LGU could raise some money for its operations, Toribio said.

But before everything could start rolling, Toribio said there should be a core group on planning, wherein all suggestions and the possible strategy for the program could be distilled, after which a draft of action is formulated.

Very important, he said, is a working group that would carry out the plan and a financial arm that would look for potential donors, do fundraising and other related activities.

Toribio said: “We, at Unland Panganiban Movement, are striving to do just that … and we welcome Mambulaoans who would like to get involved for the betterment of our community.”

So, Mambulaoans, who are at home, elsewhere in the Philippines and overseas: Here, now, is your chance to give back to the community.

Your involvement is the key to the success of our community.

The beach sand has been spoiled by mud and silt produced by gold operations around the municipality. - MWBUzzpic by AP HERNANDEZ

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