Now it’s the majority issue in city council

Trash segregation: A MUST. LR: Mercy V.Ferrer, NGO lead convenor on war on waste; ENRO head Engr Chilvier Patrimonio, and solid waste staff Frannie Pabayos.


Since last week the issue as to who is MINORITY in the Lower House continues to be unre solved. But in our local city council, the issue is what constitutes the MAJORITY.

It might as well be good to expose those who claim to be majority and minority in the city council so that voters can evaluate the legislators on the issue of what makes a sensible fiscalizer or call it opposition thus enabling the people to determine whether or not we will re-elect them in the next elections.

It is best to fiscalize and rationalize issues. What we the public don’t like is obstructionism: opposing just for the sake of opposing and delaying without substance in their arguments. They simply want to delay things just to gain media mileage by voicing their senseless opinions.

Worse, when voting time comes, they go out of the session and not vote at all for the issues they vehemently objected while they have already consumed so much air time in the council. This is the kind of leaders who have no principles and just walk out on us, the people. We should not elect them again if all they do is argue and then abstain or refuse to cast their votes.

Remember, we are paying them almost Php60,000 a month just to open their mouths there. At least they should talk sensibly and substantially. They should use both their mouths and their brains. People are watching them.

The political lines are now drawn in the city council at least:

The majority consists of seven councilors namely : Cordova, Tolentino,Abas, Bandal, Ramon, Arbon and SK Tolentino.

The minority consists of five: Councilors Perdices, Sagarbarria, Alviola, Imbo, and LIGA Amores plus Vice Mayor Esmena whose vote is only to break any tie in the voting. Otherwise, as presiding officer, he does not vote.

The issue is in the matter of appropriating funds in an ordinance. The rule states that majority of the members of the council will constitute a qualified majority or seven councilors.

But the minority insists that there must be eight votes to include the vice mayor in an appropriation ordinance. But the role of the VM in voting is only to break a tie so there is conflict. In which case, the minority is consulting the DILG which sadly has not yet replied.

While waiting for the official verdict of the DILG on who is considered majority in appropriation issues, the old rule stands which means seven votes would mean the qualified majority since the council is now composed of 12 members.

SOLID WASTE: a waste

All these years, the 90-ton daily garbage of the city remains generally un-segregated even as 70% of our garbage are “malata”, meaning, this will go back to mother earth such as food waste and dried leaves and branches. Yet, no one is effectively segregating them except for scavengers. There are a few barangay folks doing it so that’s well and good.

If majority or 70% of our garbage is malata and is still mixed with other trash in the dumpsite, you can now imagine how 70% of the garbage at dumpsite is degradable or malata that is uselessly mixed in the dumpsite. So what can you expect but a total failure of garbage disposal!

It is important therefore to segregate your garbage even at the house level. Ideally, only non-degradable trash will be the ones to be picked up by the garbage truck. If the City plans to dump the residuals to the Bayawan dumpsite, then we should already recycle the entire malata- trash at the home level so that the garbage collectors’ job will be lighter and the people will benefit from it. Cooperation from the people should be the next agenda so everyone will know how to minimize the garbage for dumping by segregating the malata at home, having simple compost pits, or piling up used tires.