Batapa-Sigue: Bacolod needs green data

April 20, 2022 by No Comments

APRIL 22 is International Earth Day, and in Bacolod City, I authored when I was councilor City Ordinance No. 404-06 or An Ordinance Declaring Every April 22 of Every Year As “Earth Day” for Bacolod to remind all that we only have one home, and so we need to preserve and protect it.2022 is presidential (and vice presidential) election year for the Philippines and therefore, a good opportunity to rise and demand for more policies and resources for environmental preservation and protection. But how do we even begin engaging with candidates who are currently deep in the middle of a political carnage against one another?It is important to ask the right questions, and help our leaders ask these questions so they can arrive at ideal answers. In Bacolod, just like in most local government units, solid waste management has been a constant problem. I propose, just like in many pressing concerns, that we begin with data. To generate and collate the right data for strategic decisions, we need important questions. Today, we need to go beyond simply collecting and managing waste but reducing waste. When we reduce waste, we reduce the cost of managing waste, and eventually reduce waste’s harmful effects on our environment.Leaders in Bacolod must ask these questions. Citizens must demand to know the answers to these questions. If they already have the data, then they must plan according to the data available.What is the total waste generated by Bacolod daily, weekly, monthly? Is there a data analytics dashboard accessible to the public? How much are we spending for solid waste management vis-à-vis the amount of waste produced?What is the percentage of waste generated in terms of source? From a household? From commercial establishments? How much of the total waste generated per month is recycled, re-used, processed as hazardous waste, or treated in special facilities? How many percent is residual waste and how many percent of this residual waste reaches the landfill?How frequent is garbage collection around the city? How many percent efficiency of garbage collection is reached currently? If the same is low, what are the strategies to increase it?What percent of waste generated significantly goes to waterways? If the percentage is alarming, what are the strategies to reduce waste? How many percent of waste classified as hazardous are treated or properly disposed? How many are not? What are the measures taken against companies who fail to dispose hazardous waste? How many percent of recyclable waste is being recycled? What are strategies to encourage re-use and recycling? Are there strategies effective?Are there strategies to promote a circular economy in Bacolod? How successful are these strategies? How many percent of these strategies remove or reduce waste production?How do public institutions like schools, malls, and government facilities become effective points of a circular economy? What are the strategies to encourage good practices? How effective are these good practices?How has the overall solid waste management and reduction strategies of the city impact on the effective use of resources? Has the budget decreased for collection and increased more for other strategies? If all these questions are answered with real-time data, managing, and even solving waste will be easier.Our international theme is “Invest in Our Planet” – it’s the only home we have. we need everyone, while there is still time. The Earth Day Organization sees individuals as having the simple yet effective power to make our voices heard through our choices, our civic actions, and our personal interactions. What each of us does, and how we do it, has a huge ripple effect on our ecosystems, and on the pace of corporate and government action.It cited how Gen Z is providing inspiration, with 45 percent having stopped purchasing certain brands because of ethical or sustainability concerns. We have the power to lobby for and support businesses that take active steps to protect our environment through their practices and climate-friendly investments, and fight against those that don’t.Let’s invest in our planet and build a prosperous and equitable future. Earth Day believes unless businesses act now, climate change will deeply damage economies, increase scarcity, drain profits, and job prospects, and impact us all. Yet we already know that private sector innovation (with public support) accelerates the kind of rapid change we need, like nothing else. And it pays. Studies show a direct correlation between sustainable business practices, share prices, and business performance. Smart companies are discovering that it is no longer a choice between going green and growing long-term profits — sustainability is the path to prosperity. For both humanitarian and business reasons, it is imperative that companies of all sizes act and embrace the benefits of a green economy. Let us tell our business leaders to get on board with a sustainable future or get out of the way.Invest in our planet and build healthy cities, countries, and economies. Earth Day cites that when it comes to climate change, money talks. Through regulations, incentives, and public and private partnerships, governments hold the keys to transform and build the green economy. Like the industrial and information revolutions, governments must incentivize their citizens, businesses, and institutions to build a resilient future. Imagine the impact of shifting to policies and partnerships that build a renewable economy. So let us all tell our government leaders to launch the sustainability revolution today.