Baguio Day

With the recent natural calamity that stuck Baguio, I am hesitant to greet them a “Happy Baguio Day!” Since I learned last Tuesday about the thrashslide in Irisan dumpsite that killed some residents, I have been worried about the safety of some people that I know who lives in Irisan. Mayor Mauricio Domogan is wise in saying that history will judge how the present (Baguio) government is performing in terms of rescue operation and clearing up. Instead of blaming anyone or getting dramatic, the mayor simply issued a simple statement with a lot of meaning. I know that this recent calamity is no match to the 1990 killer quake that rocked Northern Luzon. Nevertheless, it is still a calamity and nobody would like to see babies and old people sleeping on evacuation centers. I know that just like the old days, Baguio can rise again and rebuild itself for the better.
The Baguio government needs to clear up 15 metric tons of garbage in Irisan dumpsite. Several years back, the same thing happened in Payatas dumpsite where some scavengers were buried alive on mountains of thrash. We have thrash-related floods in Metro Manila, too. Obviously, thrash is a big environmental problem that we must not ignore. What happened in Irisan, Payatas and the flooded streets of Metro Manila is an effect, not the cause. But how do we really get rid of thrash, much more, mountains of thrash?
It’s holiday in Baguio today. I don’t know if big schools there like Saint Louis University, University of Baguio and University of the Cordillera have an outreach program today. These schools have always been charitable but involving their students is a better way to express empathy on those affected by the calamity.