Republic Act (RA) 9003 otherwise known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 was passed primarily to compel local governments, through the able assistance of concerned government agencies, to close the operation of their open dumpsites and replace them with environmentally-friendly waste disposal facilities in order to minimize the impact of pollution to the state of environment of a certain locality. For over a decade and a half now, the government spent billions of pesos in the conduct of studies, researches, trainings among others in order to equip the technical people of local governments on how to effectively and efficiently work on their solid waste collection and disposal plans that would prevent the occurrence of garbage crisis in various parts of the country. While many local governments tried their best to comply with the provisions of law on the proper solid waste disposal, many of them could not meet the criteria because of various factors such as the inadequate land area, absence of social acceptability among others without discounting politics as one of the major hindrance for the realization of sustainable solid waste disposal technologies in certain localities.
The case of Baguio City is one of the concrete examples of highly politicized and inadequate land area where to put up the needed engineered sanitary landfill that will also include applicable technologies that will maximize the benefits of the garbage dumped through the waste-to-energy, conversion of biodegradable waste to high grade compost fertilizer among others. On the other hand, a glaring example of unity in terms of addressing their solid waste problem is the action of the municipal governments of six towns in Ifugao to build an engineered sanitary landfill in an agreed area that will serve as their common solid waste disposal facility.
We believe that the garbage disposal problem of the city has been highly politicized. The critics of the present administration do not want the integrated solid waste disposal facility in Sto. Tomas School Area to succeed because they will no longer have a major issue to blacken the image of city officials while the garbage problem in the six Ifugao towns were properly managed because the problem transcends political boundaries, thus, the need for mutual cooperation in order to formulate the appropriate long-term solution to the expected garbage problem.
Let us learn to evaluate the issues that will be hurled against politicians during the campaign period so that we will be able to judge who among them are telling the truth and who are the ones who just want to dwell on issues just to boost their image and get the sympathy of the electorate. Surely, rehashed issues will again crop up, although it already started to be circulated but as wise voters, let us comprehend the words of those uttering the words and we will see for ourselves what kind of politicians are they. The city’s garbage issue had been time and gain used as major election issue against incumbent city officials but it seems the city’s electorate have been intelligent enough in being able to decide who are the ones simply using it to advance their own personal and political interests.
If local officials in the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) are willing to address their garbage concerns the soonest, they must emulate the previous action of the officials of the six Ifugao towns that decided to work together for the sake of ridding their place with tons of garbage. Let us not act too late because garbage will soon be flowing down our doorsteps without the appropriate solutions if we continue to allow politics to be the major hindrance in achieving our desired goals and objectives in addressing such pressing problem in our midst.
We challenge incumbent local officials of BLISTT to broaden their unity by having the common political will to set up a common garbage disposal facility while each of the local governments are doing their thing in finding initial solutions to their garbage concerns. Let us inculcate to our people the proper discipline in the disposal of garbage because the major players in the solution to the garbage problem are the local residents themselves. We call on our people to fully cooperate with the simple segregation of waste at source and not await for the garbage to be the ones that will pose a serious threat to life and limb.
We must work together in order to preserve and protect the present state of our environment through proper waste disposal practices because we might be the ones faulted once the present and future generations of Filipinos can no longer breathe clean air, drink potable water and inhale clean air. Let us remember that everything we do in life have their corresponding advantages and consequences. Let us not allow the consequences to overshadow the advantages because it will create chaos for the present and future generations of Filipinos.