We have to give credit where credit is due and laud the government for their efforts in cleaning up Boracay and other tourist spots.
But what about those places where ordinary Filipinos live, as well as our country’s front door?
I am talking about Metro Manila and other big metropolis. If you will notice, they do resemble one big cesspool.
Those traveling north of the Manila Hotel past Intramuros would notice one big garbage heap with children wallowing about, playing catch with cargo trucks.
You do not even have to find yourself in that area; right after you exit Terminal 1 of Ninoy Aquino International Airport and unfortunate enough not to use the tollway, you might find yourself within the vicinity of an informal settlement in Parañaque City.
Why do we even allow our children and their families to live in a cesspool situation?
Aside from endangering our children and exposing them to abuse, it is also a public health issue.
If we take issue with how biohazards in our waters affect our foreign guests, how come we do not even bat an eyelash if it’s
happening to our own people?
It is pretty clear that those responsible for all this mess are the local governments, for looking the other way and not enforcing rules and regulations, or lack thereof.
It is the same in Metro Manila. Those in local government should be held responsible and should have their feet on fire, preferably with extended jail time and an audit of their finances.
In Metro Manila, squatters are encouraged because local politicians pander for their votes, changing the face of their cities because squatters that vote outnumber actual residents, holding hostage economic prosperity and the environmental balance. It is akin to organized crime.
I can only hope that President Duterte is aware of this problem being a former city mayor himself. These small steps started in tourist spots can be expanded to big cities, and transform our country.
JOSE SANTAMARIA, email@example.com
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