Cebu News

Stiffer fines sought vs violators

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera yesterday said he wants stiffer penalties for violators of garbage-related laws of the city, to instill discipline in the people, just like in Singapore.

He said that while activities like yesterday’s “16th Citywide Clean-up Challenge” are commendable, it is also important that participants advocate the keeping of one’s surroundings clean all the time.

“Sige ta’g panglimpyo…more than the act itself, atong gi-display sa katawhan og unsa ka importante ang pagpanglimpyo sa atong kalikupan, sa atong palibot…. On the other hand, maayo pung mangampanya pud ta nga di na maghugawhugaw,” he said during clean-up’s kick-off at Il Corso Filinvest Malls at the South Road Properties yesterday.

Garganera heads the City Council’s committee on environment, natural resources, energy, and other utilities.

Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia, on the other hand, also said during the same kick-off ceremony that in everything that the City wants to accomplish, it should be a “shared responsibility.”

“Do you realize that what we want to accomplish is not only your responsibility, or my responsibility, it is the responsibility of everyone? That’s why we always say it is a shared responsibility of each of us,” he said.

During the ceremony, the City and the Department of Interior and Local Government-Cebu City recognized barangays Basak San Nicolas, Carreta, and Tejero for their efforts to minimize garbage by implementing a reward system for the collection of plastics.

On the proposal to impose higher penalties, Garganera said they are entertaining the idea for littering and the improper segregation and disposal of garbage, while also strengthening enforcement. Fines for such violations currently range from P500 to P2,000.

“Naghisgot na pud ko sa CCENRO (Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Office) ani, nga patas-an kaha nato ni atong penalty unya i-strengthen nato atong enforcement,” the councilor said.

“Kay matud pa, Singapore-like; that’s a fine city. Kung ang mga Pilipino moabot didto sa Singapore, motuman man, disiplinado man. So, it is more on enforcement and a fine that is a deterrent for us nga maghugawhugaw sa atong palibot,” he added.

He quoted Singapore’s great leader Lee Kuan Yew’s saying “I’d rather be feared than loved…so that anything that I would say will be treated seriously” as example on the need to impose stiffer fines.

“So, susama sad sa atong gibuhat karon, we have to be serious about it, kay matag karon ug unya kon dunay uwan, hakot na sad tas basura sa kasapaan and that aggravates the level of our flooding,” Garganera said.

He shared that Tinago, the barangay where he lives, is one of those that usually experience flooding even without rain due to clogged up waterways after a downpour in the mountain areas.

“Tingali, usa sad nas atong ipangampanya nga ginadili nato ang pagpanghugaw sa palibot ug aduna tay taas-taas pud nga fine aron sad madisiplana ta,” the councilor said.

He said the plan is not “anti-poor” as it is to be imposed to all people who do not have the discipline to observe the city’s environmental laws.

“We have been doing this for the longest time, we made a difference, but we have to do more aron ato gyung makab-ot atong tumong ug tinguha nga atong malimpyo ang atong palibot,” he also said.

On the business industry’s side, Garganera said is likewise the businesses corporate social responsibility to take care of their garbage and plastic products, which CCENRO should be closely monitoring, too.

“We will also hold them responsible…. In one way or the other, they also contribute to the degradation (of our environment),” he said.

Acting Vice Mayor Donaldo Hontiveros, on the other hand, aptly ended the kickoff ceremony with a short but meaningful message.

“ABCD. Stay Amazing, be a Blessing, Continue to be the Change you want to see, padayon ang Disiplina. Mag start sa atong balay, sa atong community, sa atong barangay,” he said. — (FREEMAN)

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