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Monday, December 8, 2014

Zambo. City PENRO reiterates need for more eco-friendly citizens

By Dominic I. Sanchez

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) Tito Gadon is urging the public to finally change their attitudes and be more conscious of the environment, citing that apathy has been contributory to climate change.

“The reality is, until now, only a very small portion of us are conscious of the environment and have eco-friendly practices,” Gadon told the heads of departments of Universidad de Zamboanga when the school was given the Eco-Friendly School Award on Wednesday at the UZ Auditorium.

Gadon emphasized that majority of Filipinos still practice the “not in my backyard” attitude. “In dealing with garbage, for example, we tend to just transfer our trash to a vacant lot so that our own lots will be clean,” he said. “This shows how apathetic we are, and most of us only care about our own selves.”

“What is needed in this fight against climate change is for everyone to have passion and do their share,” Gadon emphasized.

He explained that everyone, in his own simple ways, can contribute for the betterment of the environment. “Proper waste disposal is one of these, and there are more. These are just little things that we can do, but most of the time we forget their importance and significance.”
Gadon lamented that Zamboanga City is very dirty. “We have the laws, but not everyone follows them, just look at the streets. The creeks, rivers, beaches have become garbage dumps and cleanup drives have to be done just to clean them.”

One example that shows the irresponsibility of people, said Gadon is by one of the local schools located near a river. “The school canteen itself would throw their trash on the river,” he said. “They clean their own surroundings, but they just transfer their waste to another place.”

Gadon cited that students, when made aware of the dangers of environmental apathy, can be effective advocates of becoming more responsible. “Our schools can influence the students, and in turn, the students can influence their families and their communities.”

Meanwhile, UZ Chief Operating Officer Abram Eustaquio shared that their university social responsibility mandates them to put in place voluntary programs to help save the environment. “We have waste management programs, chemical micro-scaling and we take part in the National Greening Program,” Eustaquio said.

“We are doing this because this is our responsibility,” he said, adding that they have already planted 20,000 trees in barangay Pasonanca. In 2018, Eustaquio said that the school targets a total of 70,000 trees planted.

The UZ is a national finalist during 2011’s search for sustainable and eco-friendly schools.