ISABELA CITY, Basilan, Nov 12 (PIA) - "It is not only about peace and development anymore, but being a Sustainable City of the South," a statement and vision of City Mayor Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman during the City Solid Waste Management Board first meeting held recently here.
"We can easily make policies and rules but the challenge lies on the enforcement of the laws and policies and more importantly to sustain them," she stressed, citing an example like the challenge of keeping fish vendors to abide by the rules of no trading at restricted sidewalks and streets of the City.
She said that there was an agreed time and schedule for fish vendors to sell their marine products and they are expected to abide by the agreement.
"Unfortunately there are still violators," she lamented and hoped that they will understand in time why the policy is enforced and also for the consuming public to slowly affect behavioral change when marketing for goods.
The office of the mayor has started recycling tarpaulins by employing a group of women to sew them into eco-bags and distributed for free to the public.
Meantime, the management board also approved resolutions that would urge all government offices and non-government offices to implement policies against the use of single-use plastics and encourage business sectors, owners, and establishments to use alternative packaging of products and goods sold to the public.
The mayor also reiterated that the city is enforcing no to single-use plastics within city hall vicinity. Thus, all catering services are strictly directed not to use single-use plastics when serving food and refreshments in all city hall-led events and activities.
Meanwhile, the city also lauded the efforts of the 4th Special Forces Battalion of the Philippine Army and the Nagdilaab Foundation for their Basilan Eco-bricks project where shredded plastics were used as part of a mixture in making hollow blocks.
The Nagdilaab Foundation representative said that the Western Mindanao State University is commissioned to conduct a study on the viability of the hybrid hollow block for construction of buildings.
Moreover, the city General Services Office underscored the primordial role of the barangays in the implementation of Republic Act 9003 or the Solid Waste Managament Act of 2000 and the underlying accountability of barangay officials in the full enforcement and implementation of the law, particularly in reducing and segregation of wastes at source. (EDT/RVC/PIA9-Basilan)