Author: Atty. Gloria Estenzo Ramos
Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Philippine Statistics Authority.
Jose Santino Bunachita’s article, “Basura Mo, Sardinas Ko”, in yesterday’s issue of Cebu Daily News, was quite interesting. It highlighted the innovative way by which the Cebu City government is dealing with the huge waste challenge it faces, and had to deal with, for decades already.
Instead of the stick, the program called “Basura Mo, Sardinas Ko” uses the rewards system to draw in the support of, and eventually perhaps ownership by the residents. According to Mr. Bunachita, “Under the program, a resident gets two cans of sardines for every sack of garbage and one can for a smaller sando bag, even if these are not segregated.” The city government was reported to have bought 3,508 cartons of sardines with a budget of P4.4 million to implement the program starting March.
The result has been very encouraging. The villages are cleaner. There is greater cooperation from the residents in removing and managing the used materials. In the past, the discards would be burned or thrown carelessly into the river, both prohibited under the law as they pollute the air and our waterways, apart from being harmful to our health and our planet.
While the program needs fine-tuning, such as instilling the mindset of segregation and giving added value to composting the biodegradable materials, as required by RA 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, it has a high probability of success as it creatively helps address the hunger issue.