October 20, 2017, 2:24 am
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Festering garbage problem

AN official of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) was so exasperated with the twin problems of floods and garbage that he tossed the blame on undisciplined Metro residents who do not follow the laws and ordinances against dumping of garbage in streets and waterways.

With the onset of the rainy season, the flood-prone places in the metropolis are again flooded, and the MMDA, as if realizing it just now, issued a scathing criticism against residents who carelessly throw their garbage any where they like.

Trash clogs the drains, waterways and pumping stations. These pumping stations are an important cog in the flood mitigation system utilized by the metropolis. This is because Metro Manila is geographically below sea level, as the agency’s Public Information Office says, and the region needs to pump flood waters from low-lying areas to their final destinations which are Manila Bay and Laguna Lake.

The MMDA official said that last week, piles of garbage got stuck in the machinery of pumping stations. Workers have to stop operating the flood control facility to manually take out pieces of domestic trash.

Going by its record of accomplishments, it seems the MMDA is not remiss in its tasks of solving the problems of garbage and floods. After all, the National Capital Region’s 13 cities and one municipality are contributing big money from their revenues for the MMDA to do its job. 

Before the rainy season began, its Estero Blitz program hauled over 6,339 cubic meters of solid waste and silt, equivalent to almost 1,000 trucks from 15 waterways. Quite a massive declogging operation indeed, but still not enough to free the metropolis from the dangers of flooding when the real rains brought about by storm “Gorio” and the strong habagat winds visited last week. 

The problem of lack of discipline among Filipinos may be resolved easily by the authorities such as MMDA and the local government units.

The only thing they need to do is strict law enforcement, for we have enough ordinances and legislation against illegal garbage disposal and illegal construction of structures near esteros and waterways.

Arrest the violators, punish the guilty, and implement the law firmly and without fear or favor, and the twin problems of garbage and floods will be minimized, if not disappear altogether.
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