Cebu City’s Basura mo, Sardinas Ko program halted

Odessa O. Leyson (The Freeman) - June 20, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City’s Department of Public Services (DPS) has put on hold the implementation of the Basura mo, Sardinas Ko program with the forthcoming assumption of new administration.

Started in January 2017, the program encourages Cebu City residents to exchange a bagful of their garbage with one to two cans of sardines. It was the brainchild of outgoing Mayor Tomas Osmeña.

DPS officer-in-charge John Paul Gelasque said the program is temporarily halted pending new directives from the administration of Mayor-elect Edgardo Labella.

“The project was initiated by Osmeña. As courtesy to the new administration, the program is now put on hold. The new admin will decide whether or not the program will continue,” said Gelasque.

Labella and the rest of the newly-elected officials will assume office noontime of June 30.

The FREEMAN tried to get Labella’s side, but was not available as of press time.

Labella, in an earlier interview, said he will review the projects and programs, including the Basura mo, Sardinas Ko, of the present administration.

The program was piloted in Barangays Lahug and Cogon Pardo where there are sitios located near creeks that would often become the dumping areas of garbage of residents.

The program was also implemented in Alaska, Barangay Mambaling where the Badjao community is located.

The city government spent P5 million for the purchase of sardines charged under the Accelerated Social Amelioration Program.

Gelasque said the residents were motivated to collect their trash in exchange for canned goods.

To get rid of the garbage, the residents burn their trash or throw them into the river, which are prohibited under the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 (Republic Act 9003) that penalizes violators with P300 to P1,000 fine or a jail term from one day to 15 days.

But the program provides incentive to the residents to clean their surroundings.

“The program has been successful,” said Gelasque.

With the program, the city hopes to lessen the volume of garbage which usually ends up in the rivers and creeks that eventually flow into the sea.

At present, P3 million worth of sardines, which are set to expire in 2022, are stored at Department of General Services’ warehouse at the South Road Properties.

The supplier delivered the canned goods two weeks ago. The budget for the purchase was charged against the annual budget of DPS. — KBQ (FREEMAN)

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