Address litter problem with simple steps
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority issued MMDA Regulation No. 99-006 in pursuance of the Anti-Littering Law, which prohibits littering, dumping and throwing of garbage or any kind of waste in open or public places. And yet almost everywhere, even in the business district of Makati, I see litter—cigarette butts, candy wrappers, etc. It seems the ordinance has been forgotten even in that premier city.
I have asked the MMDA’s Health and Sanitation Services Coordination and Assistance Division about its antilittering drive. One of those it cited was the campaign to educate students on proper waste disposal through school visits. There is nothing wrong with the campaign, but what about many older people who dispose of their trash even as they walk the streets of Manila? (And we are not even talking yet of household waste.)
I believe that in addressing this pervasive problem of improper waste disposal, we can start with simple steps, in gradual stages—say, implementing 99-006 in one place or sector at a time. Let’s get this ordinance off the list of the so many unenforced laws our country has. (Like the Anti-Smoking Law. Smoking is again a very common sight in public places. One favorite hangout of office workers who smoke is in front of the buildings where they work.)
Trash cans are usually strategically placed along city streets, but people seem to miss whenever they throw their trash into them, or maybe they think someone would eventually come to clean the place.
Take a stroll along Ayala Avenue at night (from Paseo de Roxas to Gil Puyat Avenue) and it wouldn’t take long before you find evidence of the people’s general lack of basic discipline and concern for their environment.
The MMDA and local governments may not have the manpower to pick up after litterers, but I believe one way to minimize littering is for the concerned local government or authority to impose penalties on “building administrators” for any trash found in front of their building. In this way, they will be stricter in implementing the antilittering ordinance on their tenants.
—NIKKI LOU BAQUERIZA, firstname.lastname@example.org
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