DUMAGUETE CITY – Rizal Boulevard is a lot of things to different people. It’s an exercise area for brisk walkers, joggers, and runners. It’s a sports venue for those who are into Zumba, Beach Volleyball and Frisbee. It’s a view deck for those who want to greet the sun as it rises and sets on the horizon. Finally, it’s a meeting place for those who would like a leisurely stroll with loved ones under the moonlight.
Through the years, the boulevard has become a gem for the people of Dumaguete. However, the cleanliness of the place leaves a lot to be desired. People leave litter everywhere, some blown by the wind directly into the sea, polluting the sea water. Litters of plastic, beer bottles, spoiled food are tossed anywhere along the boulevard promenade early in the morning, before the poor sweepers can pick them up. There are trash bins every few meters or so but some people are just too lazy to walk over to the trash bins and dispose of their garbage properly. Some people pee directly into the sea, even if there are clean restrooms provided for by the city government. And guess what’s even more disgusting? The ones who spit on the pathways or blow their noses onto the ground, spreading their germs in the air.
It boils down to a lack of concern for the environment and lack of discipline to help keep our city clean. There is a pressing need for a dose of urbanity to help keep our city clean. When people care about their environment, they care for the future of Planet Earth and the future of humankind. We can start caring for our environment, one area at a time. We can start with the Rizal Boulevard – Dumaguete’s Pride, a place of sports, exercise and relaxation for many people.
Perhaps now’s the time for stricter enforcement and implementation of local ordinances to benefit the general populace. Concern for the environment and self-discipline would seem easier to enforce if we impose fines and penalties for violators. Let it be understood that leaving trash indiscriminately and polluting the environment not only smacks of utter lack of discipline. It is also shows disrespect for other people. There would be no exemptions for fines and penalties. Perhaps after a while, people would internalize their concern for a clean environment and develop the discipline to dispose of their trash properly.
Furthermore, volunteers from civic groups or universities can schedule “beach clean-up drives” on the shores as part of their project to keep the sea shore free from toxic waste.
We only have one Rizal Boulevard. We can work together to keep it clean and orderly so we can enjoy it better and for a longer time.