GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/20 February) — The city government has declared the oval plaza as a waste-free zone as it moves to reclaim its spot as one of the cleanest cities in the country.
Valiente Lastimoso, City Environment and Natural Resources Office chief, said the move is part of their efforts to showcase among local stakeholders the city government’s enhanced cleanup campaign, which is dubbed “Oplan Linis.”
He said the oval plaza’s waste-free declaration, which will last until March 15, coincides with the celebration of the city’s 75th foundation anniversary and Kalilangan Festival 2014 that will formally open on Friday.
The sprawling oval plaza ground, which is located within the city’s downtown area, is the main venue of the week-long festivities.
Under the declaration, Lastimoso said the improper throwing or disposal of any waste material is strictly prohibited in any part of the oval plaza grounds.
He said they have placed waste bins in designated areas of the plaza where visitors can dispose of their wastes.
Any visitor who would be caught violating such regulation will immediately be slapped with the penalty of community service, he said.
“They will be assigned to collect waste materials in some parts of the city and would be required to fill a sack as penalty,” Lastimoso said.
He said they have tapped the city government’s civil security unit personnel and members of the Army-led Joint task Force GenSan who were assigned at the oval plaza to help enforce the regulation.
Lastimoso said they are also planning to designate more waste-free zones within the city to raise awareness among local residents regarding proper waste disposal.
He said such move is in compliance with the provisions of the City Ordinance No. 12, series of 2008 or the “General Santos City Ecological Solid Waste Management Ordinance.”
Section 49 of the ordinance specifically prohibited the “littering, throwing, dumping of waste matters in public places such as streets, roads, thoroughfares, canals, drainage, parks and plazas, establishments, churches, rivers and seas or causing or permitting the same.”
The city government earlier enhanced its cleanup and waste disposal drive in a bid to restore the cleanliness of the city’s public areas.
The city was awarded by the national government twice in the last decade as the cleanest and greenest highly-urbanized city in the country and placed third among the list of cleanest cities, trailing only the cities of Puerto Princesa and Makati. (MindaNews)