The nation’s coming to terms with the garbage problem as a major national concern is a positive side to the recent disaster.
With public sentiments still fresh from typhoons ‘Ondoy’ and ‘Pepeng’s wrath, this would be the best time for local government authorities to clean esteros and other important water bodies of illegal structures and garbage which aggravated the recent flooding in Regions 3 and the National Capital Region.
Once and for all, let us all take drastic steps in saving our environment even as I am cautioning all government units against taking a laid back attitude on the problem and that the lessons from the recent calamities should never be forgotten even when things have normalized.
Ito na ang pagkakataon nating lahat. The wakeup call came in a very violent manner and took everyone by surprise despite repeated calls to local government officials to pay serious attention to the garbage problem, particularly on the implementation and enforcement of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act (Republic Act No. 9003).
The havoc ‘Ondoy’ and ‘Pepeng’ wrought the past weeks maybe just a precursor of things to come which would leave the poor to suffer most due to inept local leadership in addressing their constituency’s garbage issues.
Often, the high cost of these calamities are caused not so much by lack of knowledge or resources as by poor governance.
A case in point is what I describe as a knee-jerk reaction by many to use the population issue as a scapegoat for the proliferation of illegal settlers along the shoreline of Laguna de Bay and the presence of illegal fishpens in the bay’s waters. Ang nangyayari, palaging nasisi ay ang bilang ng tao. Pero ang tunay na pagkukulang ay nasa kawalan ng pagpaplano, tamang pagpapaganap, pagpapatupad ng batas. So, huwag nating sisihin yung bilang ng tao sa pagkukulang ng namamahala.
On the recurring issue of fishpens in Laguna Lake, the operators of the structures have benefited from the lake for the longest time and that ridding the lake of the structures will not only translate to higher fish catch of poor fisherfolk, but would, at the same time, help prevent a repeat of the ‘Ondoy’ experience.
Fishpens are a major factor why the 90,000-hectare inland water body is already close to the limits of its capacities and the effects of climate change may push the lake beyond its coping capacities unless real efforts are made to prepare for changes in climate.
Scare tactics employed by fishpen operators who say that this campaign against the structures will eventually result in lowering of fish supply in Metro Manila and would trigger the shooting up of prices of fish.
Tama na. Sobra na. Sobra-sobra na ang kinita nila for so many decades since the 70’s.