Friday, March 16, 2012

Youth of Today : Your Time to Shine

I have lived in Iligan City all my life. 37 years.  And as the years went on, there is one problem in the community that until now have not yet been really fully acted upon.  Maybe a few attempts but was never really sustained.  Guess what this problem is?


There are piled and days-old garbage on the streets and other open places in the city.  Plus the open dump site located at Barangay Santiago is just within the vicinity of the residential area.   The garbage can be found not only on land but also in the creeks and rivers.  The drainage system in the city streets have been clogged with garbage particularly plastics. 

Improper disposal of garbage poses three problems :

1.   The garbage is an eyesore.  The city definitely is not clean to look at.
2.   Air Pollution.   The foul smell of the wastes in the open dump site can reach even to the neighboring barangays, as far as 1 kilometer.  
3.   Damage to the environment and the marine life.  This, I think, is the biggest effect of improper garbage disposal because it not only affects the people in the community but also the animals and nature itself.  And when nature strikes back, everything else is affected.

So what do I do with this?

Well, I have my own share of proper garbage disposal implemented at home.  And I don't throw away my garbage in the streets.  If every individual will do his share of practicing proper disposal of his garbage, we could probably see a change.

But Iligan City is already a big city.   With a 300,000 plus population.  I think not all could practice proper disposal of waste.   Even the city government is having difficulty in implementing proper garbage disposal.  Without the help of every citizen in the community, this problem could not be solved.

Then what do we do about it?

Individuals have to form groups in order to implement a project.  And I think the biggest bulk of the population is the youth.  It's probably high time that the youth of Iligan City come together and make a difference in helping solve issues in the community today.  I chose the youth for they are high spirited, idealistic.  They could easily brainstorm on ideas.  And not only that.  They are very active.  When they have ideas, I know they also want their ideas transform into reality.  The youth today are pro-active individuals.   Just like how they helped in the relief operations to the victims of Typhoon Sendong.   The volunteers are mostly from the youth sector.  Gone are the days of rallies and demonstrations .   If the youth were able to do it with Sendong, then they could also do it with Garbage.   :-)

Through the Iligan Bloggers Society, Inc.,  I came across a program of UNILAB called Unilab Ideas Positive.  They are now on their third year and this time, they will hold it nationwide.  So, Mindanao is already included and that means Iligan City too.  Yehey!  They have gone nationwide because changing one community alone could not change the Philippines.  The change has to be in every community.  

Unilab Ideas Positive is a social marketing clinic and competition-in-one.  The program provides a venue for college students to share their innovative and sustainable ideas which will help address the health and wellness concerns of the community.  Not only that.  The students also get to implement their ideas!  Isn't that great?

From among the entries nationwide, fifteen (15) teams will be chosen, three (3) teams each from Metro Manila, South Luzon, North Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Unilab Ideas Positive will provide the 15 teams with a 3-day social marketing boot-camp where they can learn and understand social marketing approaches and a seed money worth P100,000.00 (each team) to help them implement their social marketing program within 6 months.  Wow. This sure is a chance of a lifetime.   Aside from these, 3 teams will be chosen as winners.  The Grand Prize winner will receive among others a P50,000.00 cash prize for the groups members and P10,000.00 honorarium for the group mentor/faculty coach.  By the way, did I mention that a team will be composed only of 5 members?  If your team gets to win the Grand Prize, you will each have P10,000.00 on top of the other prizes.   For the mechanics on how to join this competition is here.

Hmmm.. If only I am still in college, I would definitely join the Unilab Positive Ideas competition.

But, for me though, the prizes at stake are only secondary.  What's more important is the youth's willingness and eagerness to make a positive change in their community.   As Dr. Jose Rizal have once said, "Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan." (The youth is the hope of the country.)  Now, it's high time for the youth of today to make truth into what Rizal said.

To the youth of Iligan, let's make Iligan City a better place not only for the visitors, but for us, the residents.  :-)

"Interested college students can join by teaming up and registering at Deadline for submission of entries is on April 16."


  1. Obviously, a city the size of Iligan is certainly going to generate quite an amount of litter and garbage.

    In viewing hunreds of pictures taken in Iligan of main roads and thouroughfares during the morning hours, I have many times noticed the Lack of Litter along the curb. On my visits, at times I have noticed people out there with brooms ( the likes of which I had never seen before ) sweeping up along sidewalk and other areas. My compliments to them.

    In contrast to that, yes, I have seen areas heavily littered when I have been there. Is there any kind of City Sanitation Department or private carting company contracted by the city to remove garbage on any kind of regularly scheduled basis ?

  2. Hi Bob!

    The street sweepers you saw in the morning are hired by the city government. It's what they do, every morning. Unfortunately, the city streets are only clean during this time of the day when there are still not many people. When the streets start to get busy, the litters also start appearing again.

    The City has the Public Services Division that is tasked to collect garbage from households and establishments. And yes, there is a schedule of collection. But the garbage truck available is not enough, they say. Or at times there's not enough personnel (casuals) to handle the collection.

    But I'm happy for the development now as there are already some establishments practicing solid waste segregation. I just hope that the people would be disciplined enough not to throw their garbage just any where. Because a clean city could not be made possible by the government alone. The people has to help in maintaining cleanliness. Maybe in the near future. Some things would change for the better. :-)

    Thanks for dropping by Bob. :-)


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