Cleaning up Cebu City: One mini-garden at a time

By: Wenilyn B. Sabalo - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | September 11,2022 - 08:30 AM

Personnel from CESET at work in turning a garbage hotspot in Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City, into a mini-garden.| Photo courtesy of Grace Laurdo, CESET head

CEBU CITY, Philippines — In a city the size of Cebu City with 80 barangays, preserving cleanliness in the surroundings ought to be everyone’s responsibility and not just the job of a select few.

However, with over 100 identified garbage hotspots city-wide, Cebu City’s problem with garbage has become out of control over the past years. This is the perennial problem that the current administration aims to address as it campaigns for clean and green surroundings.

And one sure way to do this is by transforming identified garbage hotspots into mini-gardens.

A garbage hotspot in Barangay Day-as, Cebu City, before the city government developed it into a mini-garden last Sept. 6, 2022.| Photo courtesy of Grace Luardo

The Cebu City Environmental Sanitation and Enforcement Team (CESET), the leading implementer of the city’s campaign against garbage, could not stress enough the importance of proper garbage disposal. More than the aesthetic benefits of clean surroundings, proper garbage disposal also helps address flooding, another serious problem of the city.

Grace Luardo, Cebu City’s “garbage czar,” told CDN Digital that in addition to enforcing policies and penalties against those who are caught throwing trash anywhere, CESET is bent on making visible initiatives like mini-gardens in the hopes of educating the public about the positive impact of having a clean and beautiful environment.

“We had identified 143 garbage hotspots in the city before, but now, we only have 89. We are gradually turning these spots into mini-gardens. We have a list of garbage hotspots for every barangay; some barangays even have more than one garbage hotspot,” he told CDN Digital in Cebuano.

But since they started the initiative in April 2022, the number of hotspots has now been reduced to 89.

Here is the look after CESET and other city government departments turned this garbage hotspot in Barangay Day-as into a mini-garden.| Photo courtesy of Grace Luardo

CESET, with other city hall departments, successfully created 22 mini gardens out of the garbage hotspots in barangays Carreta, Mabolo, Sambag 1, Bulacao, Cogon Pardo, Kamputhaw, Banilad, Calamba, Sto. Niño, Guadalupe, Day-as, and the whole stretch of N. Bacalso (main roads) in Cebu City.

“Daghan pa g’yod tag sulbarunon unya pun-an karon sa kuan sa atong mayor nga gusto g’yod siya ma ‘Singapore-like’ ang atong city. So kinahanglan g’yod ta mangusog,” Luardo said.

Upland Barangay Environment Officers cultivate ornamental plants for the city’s garbage hotspot areas. | Photo courtesy of Grace Luardo

Luardo said the city did not have to spend much on this initiative as the ornamental plants that they use in making the mini-gardens are cultivated by the city’s Barangay Environment Officers (BEO) in the city’s upland barangays. They also recycled used tires.

Several more employees from City Hall, including those from Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification, and Enhancement (Probe), the Department of Public Services (DPS), the Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO), and the Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CCENRO), help the CESET team, work even into the night just to keep the city clean.

Meanwhile, Luardo admitted that the P1,000 fine imposed on anyone caught throwing trash in non-designated spots, is hardly effective compared to the much-needed collective cooperation in solving the garbage problem.

“Naa man g’yud mga badlongon maski nakita na na nila nga gipanindotan na, labayan lang gihapon….dili lang g’yud sila pasakop nato ma’am,” she said in jest.

“Ang ato lang hangyo sa atong mga tawo nga atong panggaon ang siyudad pinaagi sa dili pagpataka ug labay sa ilang basura. Kon duna silay problema sa basura motawag sila sa ilang barangay o sa DPS aron ma-aksyonan,” she added.

The city’s initiative is a step towards achieving the goal of having clean surroundings, which can be augmented by self-discipline.   /rcg

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TAGS: Cebu City, Cebu City Environmental Sanitation and Enforcement Team, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, city government, environment, flooding, garbage, garbage hotspot, mini-garden, trash

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