November 19, 2021 People's Tonight 129 views

EVERY year, floods kill scores of people and destroy hundreds of millions of pesos worth of property and agricultural crops across the country, notably in low-lying communities.

And billions of pesos in taxpayers’ money will have to be spent to rebuild devastated towns and cities and feed thousands of flood victims housed in overcrowderd evacuation centers.

That’s why we cannot overemphasize the importance of dredging heavily-silted rivers, lakes, streams and other waterways not only in urban centers but also in various parts of the country.

Likewise, there’s a need to hit hard at those who dump their garbage, particularly plastic wastes, into waterways.

Certainly, it is high time to step up the pressure on local government officials and barangay authorities to go after those who violate our environmental laws and regulations.

“Ang kailangan natin ay matuto ang mga taong sumunod sa mga batas at alituntunin para maiwasan ang pagbaha sa mga mabababang lugar,” said an informal settler living near a dumpsite.

It is unfortunate that many squatters, notably those living near river banks, just throw their garbage in public places, like parks and plazas, knowing full well that “walang nakatingin sa kanila.”-

“Marami sa ating mga kababayan ang walang pakialam sa mga nangyayari sa ating kapaligiran. Ang tanging gusto nila ay kumain ng tatlong beses isang araw,” he lamented.

And why should the Filipino people join the clean-up drive?

Certainly, we do have a moral responsibility to help government authorities in cleaning our heavily-polluted and stinking rivers, lakes and other waterways.