ROXAS City – Local government sweepers were accused of burying waste collected from the Baybay Beach along the shore.

Tourists on Yuletide excursion at the popular destination found garbage buried in one-foot-deep holes right at the beachfront.

They alleged that sweepers hired by the city government were behind this practice.

“What a stupid way to dispose of rubbish collected at the beach,” said a local tourist, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“They are not cleaning the beach. They are polluting it instead,” the tourist added.

Garbage found buried underneath the sandy shore comprised mostly of plastic bags, aluminum foils and tree branches.

In an apparent admission of the practice, a sweeper told this writer that transporting the garbage from the beach to the collection area was “difficult.”

Sullied with sand, the rubbish they collect from the Baybay Beach were “heavy,” said the sweeper, who refused to be identified.

According to the sweeper, they were getting orders from City Tourism Officer Bryan Mari Argos.

This writer was still trying to reach Argos for comment as of press time.

The city government hired the sweepers for a round-the-clock cleanup along the Baybay Beach.

Garbage that beachgoers indiscriminately throw do not only become an eyesore but also pollute the beach.

A restaurant owner expressed dismay, noting that they pay a “garbage fee.”

Establishment operators “shoulder the salaries of the sweepers deployed to the beachfront,” said the restaurant owner, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Each establishment “pays P170 a week,” the business owner said. “A representative of Barangay Baybay collects the payment.”

This is “aside from the P2,000 garbage fee we annually pay the city government,” the restaurant owner added.

Baybay Beach – a 7-kilometer stretch of fine, glittery black sand – is a popular weekend spot for tourists, both local and foreign. Visitors usually go swimming or skimboarding.

“Cleaning the beach is useless if the garbage are buried right at the shoreline,” said the restaurant owner. “The rubbish will resurface during high tide, especially when the waves are strong.”/PN

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