On a regular basis, I wake and encounter the lovely smell of burning trash. It’s not like I am living in a small town with no garbage collection, I am living in Davao, one of the 3 most populous cities of the Philippines! Part of the problem is the city will only pick up the trash at certain places, usually one of the larger streets, and pinoy are just too lazy to take the trash there. Some of them might have to walk a kilometer to get to the trash cans put out by the city, so I have some sympathy for their plight.
Of course, if they are going to the street to take a jeepney, they could take the trash with them, but that would take planning now, wouldn’t it? So they just burn their garbage, usually to start the day, but sometimes during the day, or at the end of it. In other words, in one of the 3 most populous cities of the Philippines, I get the privilege of having the lovely scent of burning trash wafting through my place on a regular basis!
Just today, as I was walking to Abreeza, there was a pile of smoldering garbage alongside the main thoroughfare! I wonder if they have any idea of the dangers of breathing in the smoke of burnt plastic? I always hope that they are getting a good lung-full of it, as it will reduce their life expectancy, and their ability to pollute the environment. At times there have been 3 or 4 of these piles of burning garbage around my place, and one time the neighbor had such a big trash fire that the smoke was rolling down the street, making it look like we had heavy fog!
Of course, sometimes they don’t want to burn the trash, but they don’t want to walk all the way to the main street, cross to the other side (where it is picked up), and put it in the pile (it often overflows the garbage cans provided for it), so they just get a ways away from their house and drop it into the open drainage ditch. Job done! Right? Right!
P. S. It looks like Duterte will run for President. I guess his campaign slogan could be “The Philippines are too clean, we can spread the garbage around!” Maybe also “The Philippines uses too much electricity, so rotational brown-outs will be national policy” (We had 2 brown-outs of about an hour duration each a few days ago, and another of about 45 minutes last night. (I know that he isn’t in charge of Davao Power and Light, but with as much clout as he has around here, I am sure he could have pushed them to do more a long time ago.))Published in