Less Sinulog waste
PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero-Ballescas (The Freeman) - January 23, 2019 - 12:00am

Did you read the good news? From 219 tons collected last year, this year’s reported Sinulog waste volume went down to 210.7, about 8.3 tons less.


This decrease in Sinulog waste volume, although small, is encouraging considering that the Sinulog crowd reached about 3.5 million, according to recent corrected reports. A bigger Sinulog crowd with lower waste volume is certainly music to the ears for the Sinulog Basura Watch campaigners.

Congratulations and thanks to all those who gave their time and support for this Basura Watch campaign: Ms. Nida Cabrera and the CCENRO staff, to all the volunteers from the public and private sectors, to the DPS staff, and to all others who supported this campaign with their presence, participation, prayers, and social media campaign.

Evaluation and assessment, hopefully, will follow soon 1) to review the strength and the challenges of this year’s Basura Watch campaign, and 2) to extract lessons and insights for more Basura Watch campaign from now on beyond Sinulog.

Data can include collected waste volume per eco-station. Were the 50 eco-stations enough? What factors accounted for better waste collection in the various zones and eco-stations? What types of waste were collected? How was the collected waste disposed from the eco-stations?

What were the experiences of the Sinulog Basura Watch volunteers, as well as the government personnel? Their valuable comments and suggestions can guide post-Sinulog basura watch initiatives.

May we also invite our readers and the public to send us comments and observations about this year’s Sinulog Basura Watch campaign?

Certainly, the challenge remains -- how to encourage all to be more responsible and effective waste managers inside and outside their own homes and communities. While waste volume decrease is welcome news, there is still much more needed to reduce the waste volume down to the 2017 volume (161 tons) or less.

More trash was reported in the following areas: Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Plaza Independencia, Plaza sa Sugbo, uptown and Colon Street. We look forward to more active involvement of the churches and the business sectors and other partners, especially in these areas, in what we hope will be a year-long, sustainable basura watch campaign.

Waste management needs everyone’s involvement. Strong, effective partnership is a key factor in maintaining cleanliness in homes, streets, offices and communities. Did the network of partners and volunteers expand in this year’s Sinulog Basura Watch? This year’s Basura Watch assessment report needs to include data about how partners and volunteers were mobilized and how their tasks and areas for the Basura Watch were allocated.

Was the Basura Watch campaign coordinated with all those involved in the peace and order initiative and all other Sinulog plans? Was there a master plan of task coordination and collaboration for the Sinulog among the government agencies and offices, both local and regional?

It is also important to include in the assessment report the total and type of costs/expenses incurred for the Sinulog Basura Watch campaign. While cleanliness and protection of the earth are the clear goals of this campaign, there is the hope as well that there is more waste dividend, more savings from waste collection and disposal.

With less spent for waste, more savings can be used instead for the welfare and services especially for the most needy. With a cleaner environment, health and air quality are expected to improve as well.

It is urgent to sustain the Basura Watch beyond the Sinulog as more need to be educated about more responsible, more participative, and effective waste management.

Padayon, support, and sustain Basura Watch.

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