Caloocan City Councilor Orvince Howard A. Hernandez has urged barangay officials to up the ante in their efforts to prevent community spread of COVID-19 as society is heading toward the “new normal.”
Hernandez specifically proposed that every barangay in Caloocan City should have designated common trash bins or disposal areas for used face masks, face shields, and other personal protective equipment (PPEs) as part of the sustainable measure to protect residents from COVID-19.
“Make no mistake about it. The new normal does not mean COVID-19 is completely gone. That’s why as early as now, we should start setting up common trash containers or designating isolated areas in barangays solely for the disposal of used face masks, face, shield, and other PPEs,” Hernandez said.
A strict policy should be enforced prohibiting unauthorized persons from going to or near these disposal areas, added the councilor, who represents the federation of youth councils in Caloocan.
“We need to ensure that these used materials are kept in a specific container or area because we are unsure if they have traces of the virus. Isn’t it that we use face masks and shields to block the virus from entering our noses or mouths, or land on our faces so we’re not affected by COVID-19,” he said.
He appealed to Caloocan residents to cooperate and support this undertaking “because the issue of protection against COVID-19 is everybody’s concern.”
Mayor Oca Malapitan had earlier urged his constituents to adhere to the proper disposal of garbage in Caloocan City, and that a segregation scheme should observed in every household and barangay.
“We need separate containers for used face masks and disposable PPEs in our own barangays, especially this rainy season, as they can block the canals and our drainage system if there’s no proper trash bin for them,” said Hernandez.
He said these containers and isolated areas would separate the potentially infectious materials from household, commercials, industrial, and other common wastes.
Hernandez is the president of the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation of Caloocan City and concurrent chairman of the Caloocan Youth Development Council.
He urged the youth of the city to join in the undertaking by propagating through the social media the importance of segregating the used face masks and face shield from other sorts of garbage.
Hernandez reminded that segregation of waste materials is mandated under Republic Act No. 9003, known as the “Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.”
Paragraph “d”, Section 2 of Article 1 of RA 9003 mandates: “Ensure proper segregation, collection, transport, storage, treatment and disposal of solid waste through the formulation and adoption of the best environmental practice in ecological management excluding incineration.”
“One hard lesson that should be learned from this pandemic is that walang superman dito na mag-isang gagawa ng paraan. Ang kailangan dito ay super friends, meaning, tayong lahat ay dapat magkakasama para sa kaligtasan,” said Hernandez.