Despite the Republic Act 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000; a policy that is mandated by the government, improper solid waste management remains as a major problem in most barangays. This policy, if implemented thoroughly and accurately, may yield the ideal environment we all yearn for; not only a clean but a safe and healthy place to live in.
Barangay Manguiles is no exception to this problem. Burning, burying, and dumping of wastes are what the residents resort to as their waste disposal practices. There is no regular schedule of waste collection by the garbage truck, as verbally expressed. In addition, there is poor implementation of the ordinance in enforcement of the solid waste management project by the barangay unit. Needless to state, all of these activities have their contributions in the large aspect of the problem.
However, the deep rooted causes must be explored, too. The residents’ low salience to the problem is evident, as they don’t perceive how massive the problem can bring about in their life. This may be partly due to their lack of knowledge and awareness of these potential harmful effects; or perhaps, they are aware but they are low on motivation to reform their life-long practices. Thus, they lack the initiative, and the cycle then continues.
The Proposed Solutions
The Comprehensive Health Plan (CHP) is divided into three phases for ease of reference: pre-operational phase, operational phase, and post-operational phase. To kick start the plan, the pre-operational phase begins with a house-to-house survey on their waste disposal practices and on their knowledge on solid waste management (SWM). Extracting these information is vital in formulating a Solid Waste Management Plan with the community people. Conducting a Waste Analysis and Characterization Study (WACS) is also part of the pre-operational phase and is essential as well in order to determine the common type of wastes generated by the residents. Another important strategy in the pre-operational phase is the formation of a committee called “Garbage Patrol Squad” (GPS) who would lead the residents in practicing SWM and spearhead most of the activities in the longer run.
Strengthening the ordinances and building inter-sectorial linkages are to be done on the second phase—the operational phase. This phase, however, highlights more on garnering the residents’ motivation to reform their ways and adapt proper solid waste management. First and foremost, strategies are geared on increasing the community’s knowledge and awareness on SWM. Hereon, the community residents; not excluding the younger population, the children, will be actively involved and participating on the progress of the SWM plan. In collaboration with the barangay officials, general assemblies will be held and agencies will be tapped, for procurement of the needed materials and construction of the must-have facility namely, a Material Recovery Facility (MRF). Ways to generate income from the non-biodegradable wastes will be explored too.
The post-operational phase includes the reassessment and appraisal of the all said and done strategies. This phase is centered on the sustainability of the projects; that even if the AdZU-SOM students depart from the community, Barangay Manguiles will stand on its own and achieve a clean, safe and healthy environment.
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