On December 7, 2009, KPD Baguio together with the Concerned Citizens for a Clean Baguio (a broad alliance concerned about the garbage crisis in the city and pursuing environmental consciousness) conducted a peaceful rally to pressure the city government to decisively address the pestering garbage issue. We believe this is not just a petty concern. It is already bringing down our tourism industry, and consequently, radically reducing our income. It is causing disgrace to the city and to its residents.
The group picketed the City Hall to demand for a dialogue with the City Council and the Mayor. Instead of responsibly addressing the issue, the group was met by an anti-riot squad, almost as big as the number of the rallyists. Despite the harassment, the group stood their grounds, hoping that the concerned city officials would finally come down and talk with them. This did not happen. They were dispersed.
This was uncalled for. The city government is in its height of irresponsibility and insensitivity! We could not help by speculate on the reasons behind its inability, or rather, UNWILLINGNESS to decisively resolve the issue. Why continue the very temporary scheme of hauling our garbage to Tarlac that is causing us around Php 500,000.00 daily when there are already so many sound proposals like putting up an ENGINEERED SANITARY LANDFILL which is less costly and offers a long term solution. What is it, or HOW MUCH IS IT, that our conscientious officials are getting out of this?
The Concerned Citizens for a Clean Baguio together with the Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya condemn the uncalled for dispersal. We believe it is a cowardly and irresponsible act. The concerned officials evade the issue instead of confronting the garbage crisis head on.
We vow to continue conducting collective actions until the garbage crisis is resolved. We demand the city government to implement RA 9003 which requires all local government units to put up its own engineered sanitary landfill. The privatization of the garbage collection, that the Honorable Mayor is proposing is not a solution. Garbage collection and management are part of the basic social services and responsibilities of local governance. It should not be passed on to private entities.
Attached is our position paper on the garbage crisis. We are enjoining every concerned Baguio resident to sign this petition.
Let us join hands in working for a clean and livable Baguio! Let us not allow concerned officials in draining the city's resources! Let us challenge all incumbent officials who are again running for office in the 2010 elections to prove themselves worthy of our votes by addressing the garbage crisis NOW!
CONCERNED CITIZENS FOR A CLEAN BAGUIO
December 10, 2009