Greenpeace Southeast Asia


Lockdown by Chuck Baclagon

A Greenpeace Water Patrol activist wearing a protective suit shovels trash to take samples from a dumpsite in Taytay.

A Greenpeace Water Patrol activist wearing a protective suit shovels trash to take samples from a dumpsite in Taytay.

6:30AM

By the crack of dawn, we were already onsite, as we got off our vehicles we were met with a handful of onlooking wastepickers at the dumpsite in Barangay Muzon along Laguna Lake.

In no time, the gates of the dumpsite was already locked-shut, with chains and padlocks; and in no time the activists were already busy assembling the  scaffolds that will serve as reinforcement to the chains and padlocks that we used to secure the dumpsite’s gates.

A few minutes more the dumsite was shut down, and already a couple of garbage trucks have been denied entrance, and were re-routed by the dumpsite’s manager. Later we then proceeded to set up the scaffolds with a sign that says: “Stop Water Pollution! Clean Up, Not Cover Up!”

The reason why Greenpeace has blockaded the dumpsite to demand a ‘clean up’, instead of a ‘cover up’, as we believe that not only does the operation and the shoddy “closure” of the dump will do more harm than good to the lake and surrounding communities. We are here along with the Ecowaste Coalition, demanding a proper clean up of the Taytay open dumpsite, rather than the cosmetic cover up currently being undertaken in the thirteen hectare trash heap.

Closure for the dump supposedly began last month, but despite the closure notice, garbage trucks still dump waste at the location, hurriedly covered up by truckloads of soil.

8:15AM
Waste pickers started trickling to the site of the blockade, inquiring about our activity and voicing their concerns, that our action might disrupt their livelihood. It was during that time that our activists actively engaged in dialogue with them. By this time a handful of volunteers from Greenpeace and EcoWaste have gone to dump’s the nearby areas to distribute leaflets and other information materials to the nearby communities and passing motorists.

Shortly, a motorcycle arrives with an representative from the Taytay Municipal Government, has inquiring about our pressence in the site. By 8:55 negotiations with representatives from the Municipal Government is already in progress as we are informed that Taytay Mayor Joric Gacula, will be arriving at the scene of our action.

9:15AM
Mayor Gacula of Taytay arrives to dialogue with our campaigner Beau Baconguis, who was also accompanied by Manny Calonzo of the EcoWaste Coalition. Where at around the same time a team of Greenpeace volunteers enters the dumsite’s premisses to start collecting waste samples from the dumpsite.

 Greenpeace, together with the EcoWaste Coalition, is demanding a proper clean up of the Taytay municipal open dumpsite, rather than the cosmetic cover up currently being undertaken in the thirteen hectare trash heap which is contaminating countrys largest freshwater lake.

Greenpeace, together with the EcoWaste Coalition, is demanding a proper clean up of the Taytay municipal open dumpsite, rather than the cosmetic cover up currently being undertaken in the thirteen hectare trash heap which is contaminating country's largest freshwater lake.


9:45AM

After talking with our campaigners and giving statements to the media people at the site Mayor Gacula, verbally to the recommendations that we have put forward along with the EcoWaste Coalition to address gaps in the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, with regard to the dumpsite’s colsure and rehabilitation. Moreover, he has also committed to write the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in line with our recommendations.

Greenpeace campaigner Beau Baconguis and Manny  Calonzo of EcoWaste engage Taytay Mayor Joric Gacula

Greenpeace campaigner Beau Baconguis and Manny Calonzo of EcoWaste engage Taytay Mayor Joric Gacula

It is with ths verbal commitment from Mayor Gacula that we are now waiting for a written statement from the office of the mayor, endorsing our demands.

As of now we sit here and wait in the heat of the noontime sun…

…it did not take long for us to wait when the representative from the Mayor’s office arrived with the written statement, indicating that the Municipal Government of Taytay. It was at this point that our campaigners reminded the representative that we will keep an eye on their commitments, and that we will continue to be vigilant so as to see the full and proper closure be realized in the very near future.

Once the representative left, we started to dismantle the scaffolds, and clear the gates. The blockade has ended, once again direct action delivers the goods!

Chuck Baclagon
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4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Clean Up Not Cover Up, I definitely agree. I just hope I am also there to protest.
More power to greenpeace and all the activists.
May the Force be with you!

Comment by yodz

clean-up not cover-up you’re right, like what the municipality of bula did when people complains about the river, they told the people of bula not to dump their garbage in the river which is good but they did not stop pensumil from dumping their waste in our river…coz of bribery maybe?????

Comment by pat polinario

Hey, ok, I get it, I guess – but does this really work?

Comment by Matt-Kaas

hello matt,

top of mind answer would be yes.

Comment by Chuck Baclagon




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