My Ako Mismo Pledge: Maliit na Basura, Ibulsa Muna!

I woke up and prepared to leave for office today earlier than my usual habit. Today, I decided to burn up some calories so I decided to walk my way to work instead of taking a jeep and being stuck in Makati traffic.
I was on my way to office and enjoying my little exercise, the atmosphere was light, there was a little humid in the air, perfect for people who like to travel by foot, but not so perfect due to some occasional smoke-belching vehicles
passing by. Suddenly a gush of strong wind came, whirling its way onto the road. I’ve seen some candy wrappers, leaves, foil pack of cigarettes, wrappers of junk foods dancing along with the wind. I instantly covered my face with a hanky. Too bad that my almost-perfect walk was ruined by a sight like this.

I suddenly remembered that early on, when I passed by a 7-11 store, I’ve seen a guy sweeping in front of a building. I’m not sure if this guy is a government street sweeper or a building maintenance personnel who’s doing his routine work. Anyway, he was sweeping candy wrappers, cigarette butts, gums into this dustpan he was holding. A few steps on his back there stood a lady in a very fashionable outfit, in a red shoes and with a brown-colored glasses on, probably a call center agent. She lighted her cigarette, grabbed something like a juicy fruit gum from her pocket, unwrapped the gum and throw the foil pack on the ground, without even an attempt of finding a bin where she could dispose her garbage properly or without even caring that somebody just a few steps away from her is picking up and sweeping small garbage thrown by people like her. Whew! Pilipino nga naman!!! I hope that I do not sound like I am stereotyping Filipino.

In our subdivision, the homeowner’s association had enforced this guideline that all tenants should strictly follow proper garbage disposal: black bag for non-biodegradable and green/white bag for biodegradable, otherwise, your garbage will not be collected. The garbage collection is being done every evening at 9 o’clock. Not that I defy the rules but I suddenly have this idea to test whether they really are reinforcing the policy. I told my mother to just use the black plastic for bio and non-biodegradable waste. When I woke up the following morning, the plastics of garbage in front of our house were gone which would obviously mean they had collected it. This just implies two things: either the garbage collector are dumb and has no proper understanding of the policy or the homeowner’s association/management are just too lax to impose the rule.

I guess this is what is also happening with our government. We do have the Proper Waste Disposal Bill. But what is the use of this bill if the government is too lax to ensure the bill is strictly followed by each and everyone? If I am to impose the policy, I would have anyone seen improperly throwing their garbage spend a day in prison, that would be the best penalty compared to issuing them a ticket for cash, since I am pretty sure 90% of the money will not reach its intended destination. I guess no one is interested to spend even just one-hour behind the bars, right?

Going back to what I did home, I just realized something. That maybe if each one of us are doing his/her own share of caring for our environment then maybe waste disposal would not be a major problem in our country. That the government may lacks the drive to enforce the law but we can choose to be a better citizen by abiding the law, then maybe we’d be dealing with a lesser problem in pollution. That everyone’s small effort can make a significant difference in advancing towards greater achievements.

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