Punchline

Waste segregation is here

By Ermin Garcia Jr.

 

AT the rate things are going, it’s likely that many Dagupeños will wake up one morning to see their unsegregated garbage floating around their homes, with all the stench permeating through their doors and windows soon as floods hit the city.

I say this because it doesn’t seem like most are taking the looming garbage crisis seriously. Perhaps the efficiency of the barangays in garbage collection in the immediate past have lulled most everyone into complacency, believing that the city government can always take care of the business of garbage segregation.  A dangerous thought.

Even assuming that the city government will be able to dump its garbage at the Urdaneta sanitary landfill soon, it will not be business as usual.  All sanitary landfills have conditions for accepting wastes, meaning not all household wastes will be taken care of.  If residents don’t learn the discipline to segregate, they will soon find out that their unsegregated garbage will be rejected by the barangays’ Material Recovery Facility, and will be stuck with them until they find places where the rejected garbage can be dumped or burned without being arrested.

So city residents can learn segregation now the easy way, or learn it the hard way – no one picking up their garbage for weeks and months!

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REWARDS.  Waste segregation, however, calls for a unitary system that must be understood by the communities’ residents. The usual lip service will not do.

The city government must invest resources to educate the communities if it wants to preserve its image as a livable city. To simply demand segregation without demonstrating how to go about it, will not cut it.

Having said that, I dare say there is an opportunity for enterprising residents. There is a dire need to find containers convenient for segregation depending on a household’s normal volume of wastes. The development, construction and sale of convenient containers for segregation compatible with the collection system of the city or barangay will be rewarding.  Residents as consumers always welcome offers to buy products at reasonable prices that make life easier for both the residents and the barangays. 

But here’s the pitfall for such a venture: Expect a resistance from the community if the barangay requires households to buy a specific design by a specific supplier. It smacks of corruption!

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WAR ON DRUGS FOR LIFE. President DU30 is right to correct himself that the war on drugs will have to continue until the last day of his term.

Illegal drugs are about easy profits regardless of consequences. It’s a major social menace that can not be stopped over a given timeline, say, six months or 2 years, etc. The drug financiers and pushers will always be in the neighborhood unless and until the demand has been effectively reduced because constricted supply has driven its price levels so high that access to illegal drugs have become unaffordable to the common drug user.

In fact, it’d be illusionary to believe that once a barangay is declared drug-free (or cleared of drugs), it’s for keeps. Not possible. (In Pangasinan, it could only happen in Sto. Tomas town).

In fact, the war on drugs must require PDEA, mayors, barangay kapitans and police chiefs to update their status in the drug campaign, and that includes updating drug watch lists.

In fact, PDEA, as the lead agency, needs to beef up manpower and resources by at least 300% if it must remain independent of PNP and politics.

Yes, the war on drugs is far from over. And the bleeding hearts over human rights among us might as well learn that if we wish to be relevant, we should start putting our personal resources and time in helping rehabilitate drug users. Merely pointing fingers at EJKs don’t save the desperate drug addicts from damnation. In fact, we can forget about saving the drug pushers who have made their choices clear enough. They know and are aware that their drug bosses will take care of them: Pay them more or risk being eliminated as they do today.

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ILLEGAL GAMBLING. The PNP leadership will have its hands full weeding out the scalawags from their ranks in the months ahead.  Between their involvement in the war on drugs behind PDEA’s lead, and the campaign to eradicate illegal gambling, the temptation to cave in to bribery and corruption will be stronger than ever.

Illegal gambling, unlike illegal drugs, is pure and simple corruption of the system that exploits poverty and the eternal hope of ordinary folks to earn easy cash through sheer luck in a numbers game.

The failure of the Small Town Lottery (STL) of government is unmistakably traced to corruption in high and low levels. The original system was tailored made to make bribery of police chiefs, mayors, councilors, barangay kapitans easy with no accountability.  Ironically, the STL became the convenient cover for the unhampered operations of jueteng in all areas. Worse, the jueteng lords even managed to come up with an even better cover –  the off-fronton Jai-alai betting. How and why it was deemed legit is what I still don’t understand how that happened.  Note: all towns had busy off-fronton ‘shops’ but STL’s was nowhere felt.

It’d be interesting to watch how the DU30 government will calibrate the old system to make it a win-win situation for government and the campaign contra corruption. I sure hope this administration will succeed where its predecessors failed miserably.

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NOT THE USUAL. While it would appear that the anti-illegal gambling campaign will be the usual cat-and-mouse chase between police and the jueteng operators, I’m afraid the situation has become more complex today.

‘Bloodletting’ will definitely still mark the anti-illegal gambling campaign. Why so?  Over the years, jueteng lords have extended their activities to illegal drug trading.  Each one now has turfs to protect, own stable of pushers and cobradores to control. The operational lines among and between them have been muddled since they can wear any hat on any given time. That should be enough to warn us of bloodier competition among them because their dual illegal interests are being targeted. It can and will be another season for ‘vigilante’ killings, that’s for certain.

Even worse, expect the scalawags in uniform to weigh in on the cash ‘incentives’ for the taking from generous drug lords and jueteng lords for the right to be their ‘protectors’ under a new environment that which entails new and higher risks – corrupt PDEA and PNP operatives on the sly will be bloody protective of their own turfs as well.

The twin campaigns of the DU30 government will be something that the country never ever witnessed in the past. Wanna bet?

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GIVING BACK. I received a brief but meaningful email from a newfound friend – Mel Gallardo (a true blue Kapampangan) residing in the US.

He reacted to our column item on ‘5-6’ lending. He sent the link www.kiva.org and introduced me to an opportunity where one can give back to the community without any hassle. He wrote: “I have been supporting this organization for many years now.  So far, I have lent to more than 300 kababayans.  My small way of helping.”

Surely, this is something our kabaleyans who truly care about helping can look into! Mabuhay ka Mel!

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