MY, MY MARAWI: Talking dirty to clean up the city

ISLAMIC CITY OF MARAWI (MindaNews/22 June) — It’s just over a week before Ramadhan comes and a bundle of food for evening feasts will pile up . Solid Waste Management (SWM) is timely advocacy as well as disaster preparedness because of the floods from rains.

It is also timely to remind the 3 Rs campaign on reuse, reduce, recycle and backyard gardening. Thankful to get a Basura TIPS reading material in Tawi Tawi to add to the many IEC and campaign materials to distribute as a reminder to imams and barangays starting with ARMM tourism officers June 22.

Almost eight months ago, there were a few making noise about basura busting in the Islamic city, now Alhamdullilah, villages are doing their own groundwork. Reform continues with governance efforts at the local level. Now who will do the dirty work (of solid waste management)? Dirty fingers are literally needed to get the community to act together on the perennial problem of basura (trash), an eyesore in the Islamic City of Marawi.

Composting trash is one practical thing to sustain solid waste efforts. Households can gather their wet waste to develop into fertilizers for plants. Buyers of plastic (bottles, etc.) can be contacted to lessen the waste. Trash is piling up but not many people are lining up to recycle their goods. Systems is what is needed, said Director Amer Pangandaman who offered his service as a lecturer to barangays which must by law organize bodies to handle SWM. Memoranda, ordinances (and legal instruments) are needed to enforce SWM laws.

Model barangays are slowly rising and enforcing SWM. DepEd is also awarding schools with the cleanest environment. Other positive things are happening from SWM enforcement — MSU campus youth taking the lead in Barangay Bai Diamag, barangays being the focus of efforts, and market food stalls observing SWM.

Developing champions is a mission possible, and getting everybody to do their share of tasks whether through enforcement, education (i.e. information drive), equity (providing).

From household to highway, there is no escaping the impact of solid waste that consumers take lightly. Trash clogging canals contributed to flooding. DPWH Lanao del Sur Director Titing Sumagayan said they have conducted canal de-clogging operations.

Mainstreaming cleanliness and the SWM system is urged in rendering khutba in mosques. Thus, ulama and two-way radio groups are also urged to be active.

Hotlines of the Army and PNP are to be used. The ESWM Board calls on its pre-Ramadhan meeting at City Hall. (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. The author is a former member of the Regional Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.)