The rubbish-carpeted beach at Baranggay Parang just next to the poblacion. - -
MWBuzzpic by ARNEL P HERNANDEZ
Action to deal with Parang beach rubbish
IN AN interview with MBWbuzz early this month, Jose Panganiban Mayor Ricarte Padilla said the pollution problem plaguing the beach of Parang just outside the poblacion “has been a decade-long issue”.
It could be that he looked at it for the first time, and seeing it, decided to forget all about it.
That’s why about two years into his administration, plastic bags and all sorts of garbage have eventually piled along the beach.
But he had an interesting observation: he blamed the natural action of the Mambulao Bay current during typhoons for the shift of household rubbish that was raked up from the bottom of the bay where it has been buried deep in the sand after drifting from a number of coastal baranggays within the municipality.
All this were carried ashore – to the beach of Parang – to settle there for good.
The term “for good” is appropriate because since reaching the beach of Parang a few years back, it really stayed there -- unmoved until now, awaiting action from Mayor Padilla.
MWBuzz would like to comment on the mayor’s observation.
Five years ago in 2007, the beach in Parang was one pleasant spot to be in Mambulao, especially in the afternoon while the yellow-red sun was languidly slipping behind the Calambayungan Island while tiny white-crested waves gently lapped at the pristine shore. And somewhere, kids played touch-and-go with them.
It was not as bad as it is now, when it has become a sort of a dumpsite soon to rival that of Payatas’s in Tondo, Metro Manila.
In short, the crisis now plaguing the community beach only cropped up during the past five years.
It could be said that when Padilla assumed the helm of the municipality in 2010 after an election victory, such rubbish had already been piling up along the shore’s 1.5km stretch.
But of course, the mayor could have more pressing community issues to deal with at the start of his administration that were much more important than the clean-up of the beach.
Anyway, this could have been simply initiated at the baranggay or purok level – if only the local leaders and the residents have the sense.
The first line of culprits to put the blame on are the households – both permanent and later-day squatters – that stood along the 1.5km stretch of the beach from the Parang-poblacion bridge up to rocky walls of the rough road to Larap on the outskirts of Parang.
Anyway, Padilla said during the interview with MWBuzz correspondent-at-large Percy A Ostonal, his office is looking to do something about it.
In fact, he created an ecological team that would monitor the rubbish situation, not only at the beach, but also in the entire municipality.
Recently, he made trips to some coastal baranggays suspected of contributing to the rubbish dump at Parang beach, and urged them to act responsibly when handling their household rubbish.
It was obvious that residents in these baranggays had conveniently done away with their wastes by simply dumping them into their respective beaches and allow nature to take its course.
But as one native of Parang Aldrin Toribio, the founder of JP Unland Movement said, the best solution to the beach pollution is to involve a group of volunteers from Parang – maybe from the schoolchildren at Parang Elementary School and those students from Parang who are attending the Jose Panganiban National High School—in the beach clean-up, led by the baranggay captain and his officials.
After all, the beach is theirs. No other parties aside from the mayor himself would be more interested in alleviating its current situation.
But MWBuzz believes that monitoring the rubbish movement in the municipality – with most of it ending up on the beach of Parang – would just be a waste to time, effort and energy.
Just get the local people moving and get done with it.
Of course, this one needs leadership, something lacking right now.
n -- AP Hernandez