Cebu City mismanages garbage segregation
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Philippine Star) - April 11, 2019 - 12:00am

Last week we already wrote what President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte talked about in his speech during the 25th anniversary of the National Federation of Motorcycle Clubs in the Philippines (NFMCP) which was held in Iloilo City’s Convention Center. I was a bit surprised to learn that hundreds of motorcycle riders in Cebu, members of the Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) held a gathering of motorcycles last Sunday, many of them workers in the Cebu Business Hotel in downtown Cebu City.

These bikers are against Republic Act (RA) 11235, or the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act, because of its exorbitant penalties and that the law mandates the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to produce motorcycle plates that are “readable from the front, back, and the side from the distance of at least 15 meters.” The President wanted the law that he recently signed to be suspended…but Senator Richard Gordon said that this law couldn’t be suspended. So the President promised to meet Gordon to convince the lawmaker to amend the law to lower the penalty and remove the provision of an additional license plate in front of the motorcycle.

I’ve already written about this piece last week…but the NFMCP is composed of big motorcycle clubs… so in a way, this piece of news comes not from the members of NFMCP but mostly from small motorcycle groups who are not members of the big bike clubs, but have their own clubs. Come now, it is a fact that these people also do not read newspapers, so they end up not knowing what the President and the big bikers have done during the convention. Anyway the big bikers have already sat down with the President and resolved many issues. All the small motorcycle groups should do is read the national newspapers.

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With the election season already in full swing, one of the major issues that has not become a political issue in Cebu City was the subject of an editorial in The Freeman last Tuesday. The editorial pointed to the current reality happening in the city of Cebu which has an Ordinance no. 2031 that was approved in 2004, which mandates all residents of Cebu City to segregate their waste. Waste segregation basically means keeping wet and dry wastes separate, so that the dry can be recycled including bottles and other dry waste, and wet waste can be composted.

While the city of Cebu has been implementing this law and penalizing residents who do not segregate their garbage… we learned from that editorial that the garbage management of Cebu City has been religiously collecting segregated garbage of the citizens. However the garbage management teams merely throw away the segregated garbage into non-segregated garbage dump, thus making this segregation policy utterly useless. Perhaps this issue has escaped the attention of Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña who is seeking re-election for another term.

So I believe that this should be a major political issue simply because too many Cebu residents have been fined for not segregating their garbage, but in the end this segregation process has gone to naught. Mind you, this was brought about by the Commission on Audit (COA). As The Freeman editorial wrote, “on the commission’s observation, it’s obvious that the city committed lapses in its trash disposal. It should have strictly monitored barangays whether or not they are aggressively pushing residents to comply with the segregation policy.” I would like to see our politicians seeking our votes to throw brickbats at each other why this thing has happened in Cebu City, and we will write again on this issue when they finally use this issue during the election campaign.

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If you didn’t know, a law creating the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), called Republic Act No. 11201, was signed into law by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte on Feb. 14, 2019. The DHSUD was a merger of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), with the latter becoming defunct and the later reorganized as the Human Settlements Adjudication Commission (HSAC). The law was a consolidation of House Bill 6775 and Senate Bill 1578 which were passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on October 10 and Nov. 12, 2018 respectively.

So what really is the purpose of this law? If you ask me, it is high time for Filipinos especially homeless citizens to be resettled in tenement housing. The problem with the poor is they love to have a house and lot which would improve their status in life, but the reality today is that we cannot give everyone a house and lot. They need to be settled in tenement housing like they have in Singapore or Hong Kong and other areas. 

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