December 5, 2023

Prompted by pictures taken at night from concerned citizens showing trash strewn in various areas of the central business district, Mayor Benjamin Magalong asked General Services Office head Eugene Buyucan to have these immediately collected and expressed the city’s need to “really understand why people continue to be irresponsible in the disposal of their trash so we can identify solutions.”
Buyucan informed the mayor the garbage came from food and beverage establishments around the CBD and that based on his office’s inquiry, the trash are thrown by people who frequent the parks and the night market despite the presence of garbage bins installed by the night market management.
He suggested personnel from the Public Order and Safety Division or police be assigned in the area to apprehend violators and send a strong message that the city does not tolerate individuals who are ignorant or willfully disregard its rules on proper garbage disposal.
POSD Deputy Chief Daryll Longid assured the mayor they will increase their monitoring efforts and that his office actually prohibits customers from taking food out of the night market’s food section unless these are wrapped for takeout. The problem however, is that the area has other exit points where customers can depart from.
The POSD will talk to the food section vendors to devise a plan on how they can work together in containing their dining customers within the area, Longid said.
Regarding the food establishments at the Harrison bazaar and the recently concluded Market Encounter at Juan Luna Drive he cited as the major sources of garbage in the area, he suggested that representatives from the Permits and Licensing Division, GSO, City Environment and Parks Management Office, and his office meet with organizers to formulate a plan on how to address the garbage originating from their establishments.
“We need to obligate them to help us manage this problem just like how we obligate night market vendors when it comes to maintaining cleanliness in their area,” Longid said.
For his part, Health Services Office Sanitation Division chief Engr. Charles Carame said they should also be included in the meeting since issues on sanitation are involved.
“Littering usually is a behavioral issue. Some individuals litter when they see trash around, are simply lazy, careless or believe that there is no consequence when they litter,” he said.
The mayor agreed with their suggestions and ordered both officials to proceed with the meeting. – Gaby B. Keith