by Kei Asagi
Lack of budget and low prioritization were identified by Baybayin Barangay Chairperson Anselmo Lapitan as reasons why his barangay has yet to have its own truck for use in garbage collection.
Despite the barangay’s submission to the Office of the Governor of its top five priority issues for the year 2017–among them the lack of and thus request for a garbage truck–no solution to this current problem is in sight.
Lapitan said that given the current allocation for the barangay, they cannot possible purchase a new garbage truck because one costs more than a million pesos. Thus, he concluded that the purchase of a truck can be considered low in the priority of government at the moment.
“As much as possible ayaw namin tumanggap ng luma kasi madaling masira, mawawala purpose ng pag release namin ng funds doon,” Lapitan said by way of explaining the need for a brand-new truck. “Pina-follow up naman namin yung tungkol sa additional funds kasi mahirap talaga,” he added.
At the moment, Baybayin uses a small multi-cab to collect garbage from households.
He also lamented about the struggle in collecting garbage in the barangay, among them lack of manpower and non-segregation of garbage.
Because Baybayin is the second to the smallest barangay in Los Baños, only two people are assigned as garbage collectors–the driver and the collector himself. Their task may become time-consuming, especially as the collection includes the transport of collected garbage to the dump site.
Garbage collection happens daily, except on Sundays. Biodegradable waste are collected weekdays (Monday to Friday) and non-biodegradable waste is collected. on Saturdays.
Aside from the absence of a collection truck, another problem seen by Lapitan in relation to the garbage situation in his barangay is lack of discipline among the residents. He said that despite orders in the barangay about proper segregation, there are times when people still mix their garbage.
Unsegregated garbage poses a problem not only in collection but also in the health of the collector.
“Minsan naihahalo yung basura,.Nakakaawa tuloy si Kuya Buboy, yung tagakuha ng basura, kasi nga minamano-mano niya nga yan. Yung health niya, [nagkakaron ng] problema,” Lapitan said.
According to Patricia Agustin, a resident of Purok 1 in Barangay Baybayin, practices waste segregation even before the order was released. She said that what the barangay captain calls as residents’ “lack of discipline” results from irregular collection that happens sometimes. She said that when residents’ garbage would pile up, they themselves would need to find ways to dispose of the garbage to the point of garbage getting mixed.
Lapitan claims that not all residents are like Agustin, and the lack of a garbage truck still imposes serious health risks and sanitation problems.
In the mean time, he plans to just continue the conduct seminars on proper segregation. “Continuous ang programs and seminars sa proper segregation kasi ayun muna makakatulong dito sa problema namin,” he said.
He also encourages the residents of Barangay Baybayin to follow the barangay’s orders to segregate to reduce problems arising from the lack of a garbage truck.