18 June 2012

Rains, Garbage, Floods

This is so old news; but every year it still finds its way back into the news shows. Apparently, while Typhoon Butchoy merely skimmed the outer edges of the PAR, on its way out it also pulled in the monsoons to dump gallons upon gallons of water upon Metro Manila.

And of course, within the context of certain localities of the metropolis, the saying that applies is “when it rains, it floods.”

In the case of the city of Malabon – seaside, sinking and below sea level in parts – that it will flood when it rains is not something that one wonders about. On the contrary, the flooding is a certainty.

“Sanay na!” one citizen told a news crew. That is so sad.

No, not that people are simply resigned to the flooding; but rather that nobody has thought of a viable solution to something that is as much a certainty as the rising and the setting of the sun each day that God makes.

Granted, the citizens themselves are as much to blame for the floods as the rains. As could only be expected, flood ways were impeded by – no surprise – tons upon tons of garbage mindlessly discarded by some of these very citizens.

When the waters receded and the MMDA personnel arrived to clean the drains and the flood ways, again no surprise at the top of the list of culprits were plastic bags and styrofoam drinking glasses.

As a consequence, the city council is seriously considering passing a new anti-littering ordinance to address the garbage problem. Why new, you may wish to ask.

Because the existing anti-littering ordinance, or so the news crew reported, does not stipulate penalties for those caught littering. At this point, you are allowed to scratch your head.

If there is a compilation of the world’s most asinine laws somewhere, this one has got to be top of the heap.

At any rate, or at least in this country, anti-littering ordinances are probably not only the most ubiquitous but also the most ignored.

It goes without saying that if you pass a law, you have to have the means to enforce it. If cops have their hands full chasing after killers and carnappers, does anyone really expect them to chase after litterbugs?

Then again, and not only in Malabon, but do we not all see these anti-littering signs everywhere but look around and see no trash bins to for people to discard their wastes into? Not to condone the litterbugs, but that is why the streets become everyone’s trash bin.

This and the fact that after all these years, nobody has really thought of investing in recycling plants that can turn all the garbage into gold. Well, most of it, anyway.

At any rate, were it up to me, I would go right to the source. There will be no plastic bags or styrofoam for the citizens to throw away if these are not used in the first place.

Instead of passing what would ultimately be another toothless anti-littering ordinance, why not ban these? If the cities of Batangas and Lipa can do it, what is stopping Malabon?

And other flood prone cities of Metro Manila, for that matter...

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