Throw, throw, throw, everywhere!
As I was going home yesterday, I saw a lady drinking her "palamig" (beverage) from a plastic bag while walking, and as she finishes her drink, she dropped the plastic bag with a straw in it on the road like no one's watching her. And, as expected, people didn't even care. Well for me, I think that I don't have the right to reprimand the lady, as I am not one in authority.
Going back to university days, I remember a Philippine law that regulates waste disposal, PD 825. And as I go through the act's contents, I noticed several things that are highly violated by us Filipinos.
Section 2. Any person, who shall litter or throw garbage, filth, or other waste matters in public places, such as roads, canals esteros or parks, shall suffer an imprisonment of not less than 5 days nor more than one year or a fine of not less than P100 nor more than P2,000.00 or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the Court or tribunal, without prejudice to the imposition of a higher penalty under any other law or decree.
Are you even aware of what's written above? I think that most of us don't even know that throwing in public places can put us in jail, and let us pay for fines. I seriously think that the fine is just a small amount to pay for whatever you've done. A garbage bag thrown into a canal can cause clogging, and when it rains hard, this clog can become a reason for a flood, and flood may put others in an inconvenience and can cause destruction of several properties. Now, do you think that the fine is big enough? I don't think so.
Well, I'm also a guilty citizen. I used to throw everything down the road. Plastic bags, candy wrappers, and everything that I can throw. I even peed on walls, and "shot" my secretions on the road. However, I seldom do it now. Knowing the consequences of my actions, I stopped. I even refuse plastic bags from stores, especially if I only buy a few items, and/or if the items can fit in my bag. I think that you can do the same!
I remember a video before, with the foreigner ranting about bad things that our country has. Well, it's sad to say that even I, a Filipino, agree with him. Our country has been abused by its citizens, and we need a very huge transformation. The part where he bought what I think is gum, and commented about it, stabbed me as a Filipino. For very small items like that, the store gave him a small plastic bag. The store could've given the item to him directly, without putting it in a plastic bag, right? That way, there's no additional trash.
I've always been amazed with the discipline of our neighboring countries when it comes to environment. People in Singapore strictly impose the rule to themselves. They throw their trash in proper places. Did you know that they even banned gums in their country? That way, there will be no things sticking under your chairs in the bus/train station, or even your school table. And the key factor here is proper implementation.
Yes, proper implementation. The country has a very serious problem with implementation of our rules. Yes, there are established rules that should put our country in order, however, even those who implement the rules VIOLATE them. Recently, there is an anti-fixer law implemented in our country. This prevents instant processing of documents through "fixers". Others have their documents in a blink of an eye. Others, for centuries. The difference is something called "padulas" or a tip given to the fixer, in order for your documents to be processed.
If those in authority, and those who are subordinates are not even following the rules, we might as well consider ourselves trash. Let's not be hurt in their criticisms as we are not even willing to accept them and change our system. If this apathy with our system continues, we should consider ourselves as such, and throw ourselves everywhere. Remember, the change starts in ourselves.