Issue Spotlight: Pollution (Cleanliness)

It is always a recurrently lovely sight in my everyday commutes to see litters in every street I traverse. Almost every street corner is filled with litter by daily consumers. And that is almost a non-surprise to experience its sight in modern-day Metro Manila. There goes the harshest truth that no resident of the Metro wants to hear: “Manila is dirty”. In fact, according to the online survey forum Numbeo, 61 contributors rated Manila’s dissatisfaction with garbage disposal with a 78.12 grade, which means “high”, and the dirty and untidy criteria with 82.46, which is defined as “very high”. Subtract those grades to 100 and you have the rates of how satisfactory is Manila’s cleanliness.


But you have to swallow this hard truth completely: The Metro is brimmed with pollution. And pollution can manifest in every way, from water to air to noise. Though we are educated to these topics, we still find away to increase pollution. With the “going with the flow” mindset in execution, only concerned people find pollution a growing epidemic in the country. And I mean that since this is not only Manila is facing the repercussions of pollution.

Given that there are many types of pollution, our focus for now shall be on cleanliness.

Now, we are familiar of the abbreviation “CLAYGO” or “Clean as You Go”. Mess halls always apply this rule for everyday users of the canteen to give respect to other users. And schools implement this rule to practice cleanliness. So why not practice this outside?

Okay, let me lay down observations that clearly contribute to untidiness. On a typical jeepney waiting area, there are cigarette butts on the pavement; there are barbecue sticks coming from patrons in an ihawan stand; there are plastic cups littered or perhaps squeezed in lamp posts; there is a lard of garbage blocking the drain to the sewage lines; there is spit on the concrete ground; and there are times that garbage bags would pile up on one corner and people would place their litter on top of them. And that is not just Manila, but some urban areas, including my hometown.

Have I made you uncomfortable? I know. I am too.

The common denominator for the cleanliness to perish derives to the simple mindset that concludes with “may lilinis naman diyan para sa atin” or “may Metro Aide naman”. That screams of laziness that I hope is not laziness because I believe that every Filipino is a hardworking Filipino. But if that is the case, it only means we lack the fundamental discipline to preserve the maintenance of our surroundings.

However, there is something to dissect out of this case. Let’s say for a simple piece of candy. Our hankering always goes to the candy inside of the wrapper. So, the typical tendency is to take the candy out and throw the wrapper since there is no other business to do with the wrapper. As a result, the wrapper is thrown anywhere.

Same thing applies to every consuming goods. If we mind only the goods, we ignore that the litters also contribute to consumption.

So, as a persuasion, it is best to put responsibility in everything we buy and consume. If we do not apply this, there will be repercussions. And I mean there will always be repercussions along the way.

It takes a simple task of looking for the nearest possible trash bin or container to place your litters to keep cleanliness, instead of leaving it on the streets. Again, as stewards of this country, we are – cue predictable line – accountable for cleanliness and orderliness.


  • Pollution in Manila, Philippines. Retrieved from


I am a Peterson, a Bosconian, a Lasallian, an ENC Member, a movie buff, a writer, a thespian, an optimist and a servant of God. And I will tell you a story.

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