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Most violators fail to pay fines

CEBU, Philippines - Over 4,000 persons have been apprehended in Cebu City from January to June 30 for indiscriminately throwing garbage in public places and for failing to segregate their waste before throwing them into garbage receptacles.

But records show that only one in every 10 persons apprehended either by the members of the City Environment Sanitation Enforcement Team (CESET) or by the Barangay Environmental Officers (BEO’s) paid their corresponding fines.

Engr. Randy Navarro, assistant head of the Department of Public Services (DPS), said out of the 4,103 apprehended violators, only 449 of them paid P500 for every violation they committed.

Mayor Michael Rama said he is serious in the campaign against persons who refuse to comply with the provisions of City Ordinance 1361 and Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

City Ordinance 1361 prohibits the throwing of garbage in public places while Republic Act 9003 also provides that garbage should be segregated first into biodegradable and non-biodegradable before throwing them to garbage receptacles or bins.

Each of the close to 300 BEO’s deployed in the city’s different barangays are receiving P3,000 monthly as honorarium from City Hall. They were tasked to apprehend those who violate the environmental laws.

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Rama threatened to relieve or impose sanctions against any DPS officials and personnel who will not comply with his order not to collect unsegregated garbage.

In his speeches during gatherings, Rama always reminds the public of his campaign.

“Credit is good, but we need?” the mayor would ask. To which, the people would then say, “cash,” but the mayor tells them “credit is good, but we need segregation,” Rama pointed out, referring segregating garbage to minimize, if not to totally solve floodings.     - THE FREEMAN

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