LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Tightening La Trinidad massive information and education advocacy in waste disposal, the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) intensified its communication campaigns through up-to-date and catchy slogans.
Since the enactment of the Municipal Ordinance No. 53-98, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Solid Waste Management (SWM) in February 2017, MENRO had observed changes in the waste disposal in the locality.
Its regulation and enforcement in each barangay in the valley sums up a great benefit for both the local residents and the valley’s environmental condition.
MENRO-LT Designate Arthur Pedro said that the valley’s residents are compliant and disciplined in the solid waste management efforts of the municipality.
“Nagse-segregate naman sila, nagbabasura sa tamang oras. Itong advocacy materials na nailagay sa designated collection ay para sa mga bisita rin natin dito sa La Trinidad (Our constituents are segregating their wastes and putting it in the designated collection points. This posted signages for schedule in our collection points is to regularly inform our constituents, and so with our visitors),” said Pedro.
Pedro added that since the municipality is adjacent to Baguio City and other municipalities, when people from these places visit and decide to live in the community, they will be informed of the town’s policies on waste management, like the garbage collection schedule.
Advocacy materials have been posted in each designated garbage collection points and sidewalks within the barangays to tighten the municipality’s waste management system.
Innovative and updated communication taglines were added in the traditional media forms. Familiar hashtags seen when residents dispose their garbage such as #bewasteponsible (be waste responsible) and #ourenvironmentourresponsibility (our environment, our responsibility).
To add, this creative installations are also a part of the continuous information, education, and communication campaign of the MENRO.
In essence, Pedro underscored the continued advocacy of the valley for a sustainable environment by emphasizing the important role of every citizen in solid waste management.
“The advocacy is continuous, that is why we post these posters to continually remind everyone to always segregate waste,” said Pedro.
The advocacy materials include the garbage collection schedule, the do’s and don’ts, and penalty reminder for the residents to be guided, as well as the municipality’s constituents.
Pedro added that these advocacy materials are not limited to signages. The MENRO also conducts nonformal education, such as training, and distribution of extension publications, such as leaflets that are being monitored and regularly updated.
“We also have MENRO’s Facebook account for posting office updates, events, and activities for readers to see to be informed and be aware,” Pedro mentioned.
The Bantay Basura Advocates was applauded by MENRO for their big help in materializing the aspirations for solid waste management and Pedro emphasizes their critical role as environment keepers.
Armed with pen and notepad to register community members disposing their wastes, Bantay Basura Advocates are composed community volunteers who guard the garbage collection points.
“I would also like to emphasize the big help of our Bantay Basura Advocates to our improved solid waste management. They are the ones safeguarding our collection points with pen and notepad to record the names of residents who segregated and do not, which is also the basis for the imposition of penalties. Before them, waste that are collected on designated collection points are mixed wastes. Their role is helpful for our environment and the status of our landfills,” Pedro stated.
The Bantay Basura SWM Advocacy Program in LT started in 2016 which curated the designation of Bantay Basura Advocates primarily funded by Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in 2017 and was continued by the municipality in 2019 after the program’s institutionalization to give honorarium to the program’s advocates.
Pedro also expressed the importance of practicing the segregation at source to avoid the penalty.
“I would like to ask the cooperation of all, including our constituents, to practice segregation at source or the segregation of our waste in the comforts of our home. Mixed waste upon drop off and checking will face either of this three sanctions: one, you must take back your garbage and bring it home; two, you have to segregate it on the spot; or lastly, drop it as is, mixed waste and pay the fine. I know this has been repeatedly asked but once again I humbly ask everyone to properly segregate their waste.”
Pedro lastly reminded the municipal’s community to be wasteponsible, because the environment we live in today might not be the same for the next generations to live in.
By Streisand B. Cruz