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Tag Archive trash

Trash, Trash, Trash!

Trash is everywhere! We tend to categorize trash into two piles – Bio-Degradable and Non-Biodegradable. Either way, tons of TRASH are being put into Manila Bay each and everyday! Guess what? The Bay is spitting it back on us! Recently there was a huge storm surge. The storm surge deposited over 1,900 TONS OF TRASH onto Roxas Boulevard. The U.S. Embassy was affected to the point it closed operations. After the storm surge – the city was complaining “During storm-related calamities, the volume increases five-fold and include water damaged appliances and furniture.” This was a direct quote taken from the Philippine Daily Inquirer of August 15, 2012. Today, there is no more news about trash although tons are still being dumped each and everyday into the bay. Additionally, I recently wrote about a dinner cruise I had the pleasure of taking on the beautiful bay – halfway during the dinner cruise, the smell was so overpowering no one could continue their eating! I would guess that included in the two kinds of general trash is now a third category – human waste! It is sometimes reported that there are over 20 tons of trash being dumped into the bay everyday. Pictures are occasionally found in the local papers and TV news reports of children ”walking” on water – across the trash.

I would suspect, and my research bears out that there are many places in the world where corruption and negligence plays a huge role in disease, fouling drinking water, and making living conditions horrible for millions of people. Corruption? Yep, it is a dirty little secret here in the Philippines that many Mayors take a cut of each truck load of trash – and the trash is not deposed of properly. Negligence? Yep – law enforcement does not enforce the laws – either because they too are on the take or they don’t have the necessary tools and assets to stop the known pollution! Lets take for a minute the human waste being dumped into the Manila Bay – how many ships are in the bay – where is the enforcement for when those ships dump their loads? Where is the enforcement when developers just dump raw sewage into the bay? The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has some innovative, cost effective methods of turning trash into reusable materials – both biodegradable and non-biodegradable.

The “Zero-Waste Recycling Movement of the Philippines” also has some tremendous methods of turning trash into usable products. How come there is no movement to use these cost effective techniques to rid ourselves of the trash? I would suspect that once the politicians are exposed for the harm they are doing to the environment – and thereby people – all in the name of money in their pocket – the system will change. Until the system changes and the politicians are brought to bear for their actions, and the companies that are knowingly ignoring laws and regulations are brought to justice, we will continue to have massive pollution, sickness, and problems!

There are systems right now in Manila that can recycle ALL trash into cement blocks or charcoal. These systems can also be used as livelihood programs! Lets all think about it for a moment and just start asking questions. There are solutions! Many other countries and cities have found the will to change and have clean, productive, and most of all lasting environments! How about us?

Open the Flood gates – Open the Dams – People die!

Recently we experienced, the Administration once again, ordering the flood gates open; ordering the dams to release water – and people died! This is not the first time we have experienced the Administration’s management decisions that end up killing people!

What lessons did we learn just three years ago with “Ondoy?” It is obvious there was very little “learning” going on! Easier to blame it on “Global Warming!” Silly to hear grown men on the radio, during the disaster – blaming Global Warming! Why can’t the Administration know the levels of water; anticipate the water levels; and release water in a systematic , make sense manner, instead of all at once releasing water! Over 100 people have died – not because of Global Warming; not because of trash; not because of low-income families and where they settle – it is solely the amount of water that was suddenly released – by order of the Administration.

Taking a look at the situation, we need to ask some questions. How come they could not predict the amount of rainfall? Well – turns out the Administration is not paying the weather-guessers – and the weather-guessers don’t necessarily come to work – so there could be someone very inexperienced guessing! How come the Administration, knowing that amount of water being released will kill people, does not have a disaster preparedness plan in place? How come there is no coordinated plan? Almost entire provinces end up underwater for weeks.

Now we must suffer through disease, malnutrition, etc. because of Administrative decisions! People Dying! Is it Global Warming? Hmmm .. I would suggest that the rains and water experienced in 1972 – The “Biblical 40 day – 40 night rainfall” – Global Warming? The “popular” reason at that period was Global Cooling – Hollywood was making movies about how cold it was back then – now we blame “Global Warming?” Need to start asking questions! Three years ago it was easy to blame “Ondoy” on Global Warming – and yet weeks later there were discussions of the amount of development in floodplains! Again, where is the learning? Where is the coordinated plans? Where is the leadership, where is the disaster preparedness? Is it the trash? I have another blog coming out soon concerning trash – and how much is being dumped into Manila Bay each day – tons – people know it – people know who – and people shut their eyes – but is dumping trash the reason for all the flooding and dying? Is it the settlers? I would suggest they are not the cause of flooding – although they seem to be many of the people that suffer.

Again, the Administration seems to think it is O K for settlers to settle next to the dam when the sun is out – why don’t they take any action? There are facts in place that are undeniable. If the Administration opens the floodgates, opened the dams – people will die – and yet – they do it anyway! Why? There are many places where flooding is avoided with preparedness – how come the Administration cannot prepare? At some point people will start asking questions and I am not sure the Administration will have answers. They seem to just wait for the sun to come out, bury the dead, and move on to another catastrophic event. Shame. Guess what – it is going to rain – this is the Philippines!

Let’s do some preparation – have the Administration show some leadership – how about a novel idea – how about the Administration saving lives instead of knowingly killing people!