Payatas “Dumpslide”

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Another case of an event that could happen “only in the Philippines”?

The tragedy that befell our countrymen again put the Philippines in the “global hall of shame”. Imagine, piles of garbage as high as mountain collapsing and ultimately burying people and shanties alike. Death toll reached more than two hundred. Making matters worse for the health and safety not only of students but also of the rescuers was the exposure to methane and the intermittent rain which softened the landfill.

The stench of dead bodies, danger of toxic fumes inhalation and overcrowding are all potential signs of disease outbreaks. This prompted Secretary Romualdez to call on everyone living near the landslide area to vacate the place to prevent diseases and speed up rescue operations.

The Payatas “dumpslide” was an eye opener on how big the country’s garbage disposal problem is. Everybody was mad; everybody was sympathizing with the residents; but months after the tragedy, everything seems to be a mere lip service. This, it seems, is another useless tragedy.

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