Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Editorial: Canal and waterway cleanup

SHORTLY after Maria Leda P Aler was installed as the new baranggay chairman in South Poblacion, one of the first initiatives she took was to look into the condition of canals and waterways in her area.

Being the town’s center of commerce and home to the municipality’s public market, the baranggay needs to keep the area free from damaging flood during heavy rains or typhoons.

This has been the Kapitana’s main concern.

Buckling down to work, the first thing she and the council workers found out was that most of the underground canals were clogged while the creeks and waterways (esteros) were chocking with rubbish, obviously from households sitting on either side of their banks.

This, despite the municipal government’s dredging of the market creek sometime last year to free its bottom of plastic materials and other debris that had been embedded there for quite sometime.

However, old habit – that is throwing household rubbish into the waterways – couldn’t die yet.

And since the center of South Poblacion hosted the town’s commercial and market establishments, it was obvious that most of the rubbish that ended up in canals and creeks were produced by the stores, shops and market stall holders.

Now, the good thing was that Kapitana Leday was conscious of her surroundings – the community environment -- that she immediately worked on these waterways – those that slithered underground and on the surface.

To everybody, they have become a common sight in the area.

So far, most of the critical waterways beneath the ground surface had been cleared, enhancing the flow of rain water.

The same thing with the creeks that began from the nearby mountainsides and ended up in the bay waters.

Unclogged water ways would mean less chances of flooding in its vicinity during heavy rains or typhoons, thus sparing many households and business establishments of the costly damage that could result afterwards.

But there is a need to sustain the cleanup, not only in South Poblacion, but across the Mambulao town.

MWBuzz, your news tunnel, is suggesting that a group of residents, business establishments or community orgnanizations adopt one particular stretch of canal, whether it is surface or underground, to have it checked for rubbish on a regular basis.

Waterways such as esteros or creeks could be adopted by a bigger group composed of shops or stores that operate within their vicinity.

During the first week of this coming May, the alumni of the Jose Panganiban Elementary School (JPES) would be holding its first homecoming in so many years.

This gathering should be a timely occasion for the returning graduates of the school to work together for at least a day or two towards the town waterways’ cleanup.

The organizers of the homecoming should allot a day or two for this special task as part of the occasion’s program of activities, and encourage the alumni, both from overseas or elsewhere in the Philippines and those who are based locally, to give their time and funds towards this endeavor.

We believe that this would be a worthwhile activity to look into.

The homecoming could use the participation of the Mambulao government in terms of the needed gear such as wheelbarrows, shovels and truck to haul off the rubbish.

Once in a while, working together for a common cause helps strengthen the bond between the citizens and their government.

This is one such occasion among the many that could come in the future.

- Alfredo P Hernandez

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