ILOILO City – Locals and other spectators will be on the lookout as to how the Japanese manage their wastes, as 400 tourists on board the crew ship M/V Pacific Venus of Japan will arrive in this city in time for the highlights of the 2019 Dinagyang Festival on Jan. 26.
Neil Ravena of the city government’s General Services Office, who is in charge of the festival’s sanitation, said Friday the Japanese have shown the world how disciplined they were during the FIFA World Cup held in Russia.
Japanese fans, despite the defeat of their national football team, stayed behind to tidy the stadium.
“They will be staying at the grandstand, so we will see and compare with other stages what would be the outcome,” Ravena said during a press conference.
Nonetheless, he appealed to the spectators to help ensure the cleanliness of Iloilo City throughout the festival, whose highlights will run from Jan. 25 to 27.
Ravena said they will deploy 90 street sweepers to the five judging areas, along with 10 supervisors and inspectors who will do the monitoring. Personnel carrying black bags are tasked to collect the garbage in every judging area.
There will also be portable toilets (portalets) to be positioned in every judging area.
He said that on Jan. 28, a day after the highlights, they expect the wastes to be triple or even more than the regular garbage collected on regular days.
“We have prepared 220 sweepers to clean up the city in the morning. We will try that by 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., the city would be clean,” Ravena said, calling for the dismantling of kiosks as early as 3 a.m. of Jan. 28 so that the areas could be cleaned.
Last year, they collected 40 tons to 50 tons of garbage, or the equivalent of 25 trucks, during the first round of collection. Most of those wastes were biodegradable materials.
Meanwhile, Ravena said they have been encouraging Ilonggos to observe “Zero Waste Month” this January.
He said their enforcement team has been doing focus group discussions since last month for waste management down to the barangay level.
“Since December (2018), we have conducted a series of meetings with our barangay captains so we can cascade the zero waste management down to the barangay,” he said.
However, they are expecting that not all of the guests could properly manage their wastes during this Dinagyang season. (PNA)