Time to act against illegal dumping of waste

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila - The Freeman

Last Sunday, The FREEMAN online came up with a photo of an estero where plastic bottles, and garbage of all kinds floated and nearly overflowed into the street due to the strong rains. This is a very visible proof that I already wrote a long time ago that Cebuano residents living close to the rivers and esteros have made it their dumping site. There are two reasons why this is happening to our beloved city and one is that our garbage system truly sucks, and people can no longer wait so they dump their garbage into the rivers and esteros.

The other reason is simple; Cebuanos residents are so uneducated about the need to clean up the environment, so in the end, we should not simply blame the government, but rather blame the Cebuano residents. But unfortunately, it is the final week of the administration of Mayor Tomas Osmeña and at this point, I suggest to incoming Mayor Edgardo Labella to have residents of homes with their backs facing the rivers and esteros to put up a blocking net that covers the entire house so they can no longer throw their garbage into the river or estero.

Mind you, this hasn’t been done yet, but I dare say that it is about time we did this. Cebu City can make tons of money if they came up with an ordinance that forces these residents to do this and fines those who refuse to follow the law and penalize those who put up these nets, but still throw their garbage into the rivers and esteros.

It is high time that we all make an appeal to our fellow Cebuanos to clean up their act because reports like these are totally embarrassing. Just a week ago, I saw on Facebook a photo of a river in India which had plastic bottles kilometers long clogging the river. This has to stop and this is the hope we all believe in, that incoming mayor Edgardo Labella is going to change a lot of things that will make things better for our beloved city.

In the meantime, I just read The FREEMAN news report that Labella said he will meet with all 80 barangay captains in his first 100 days in office – whatever their political affiliation may be – to arrive at a unified approach to the problem of garbage and flooding and that Labella said the city will enforce a strict collection and disposal policy so that garbage will not go to the drainage systems and that waterways, canals, and creeks will be dredged and cleaned and the city will be strict in monitoring garbage disposal. At this point this is the challenge for us Cebuanos, to get behind Labella and support his move.

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This month of June is significant in China’s history in the sense that it has been 30 years already since the infamous Tiananmen Square uprising where thousands were believed to have died when the People’s Liberation Army used its military might to stop this pro-democracy uprising. Remember that brave young protester who stopped a line of tanks by standing before the first tank? Up to now no one knows who he was, or if he was eventually arrested and killed.

This month of June, we saw that huge million-man rally in the streets of Hong Kong, protesting their government for sponsoring an extradition law whereby criminals (pro-democracy protesters are dubbed criminals in China) can be sent to any city in China to face charges against them. Imagine you and your family living in Hong Kong and your son has to be extradited to Beijing and face trial there? After a two-day rally the Hong Kong government backed down and apologized for supporting that law, but still the protesters continued their march in Hong Kong’s streets.

Then last Sunday there was another huge rally against Beijing when thousands of protesters braved the strong rains to protest against a pro-Beijing media whom they believed was “brainwashing” the Taiwanese people or “idolizing particular politicians” with untruthful news reports

The rally intends to influence the country’s legislature to introduce and pass relevant bills, ranging from communications to national security to cross-strait affairs, in order to ban pro-Beijing media in Taiwan, and to prohibit or restrict political propaganda and media infiltration conducted by organizations receiving Chinese funding. While we are having problems with China they might have a bigger problem with the people of Taiwan and Hong Kong who want freedom and democracy in their regions.

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