Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cebu City and the rest of the Philippines should trade its butt-hurt in for an anti-littering campaign

In my opinion, focusing on the butt-hurtedness of Cebuanos and other Filipinos seems like an old hat that should be retired from any further discussion. 

Pan Doe, a member of the GRP Community says:
If you guys in DOT don't want to happen this again, better start to clean your department and implement plans to improve our tourism. 
Im sick and tired of hearing these onion skinned flips who do nothing but rant and ask for apology. geez!
Doe's observation is valid, but stops at offering a solution.  

But just as much as people are wasting their time ranting about how butt-hurt they are about Jimmy Siecska, there are can't see or think beyond the finger they are pointing at the butt-hurtedness.

We already know that most Filipinos are onion-skinned or emotional about things.  That's the low hanging fruit on any Pinoy Culture Discussion Tree and really, the prized apple on this tree is how to direct that butt-hurtedness towards something that will solve the problem.

One idea that came to mind while spinning wheels with some of the folks on the thread, I remembered an old TV ad campaign in the late 1970's called "Pitch In".

The Pitch In anti-litter campaign was backed by  Anheuser-Busch, one of the largest beer companies in the US at that time. (Which kinda makes me think, if most of the litter happened to be liquor bottles and beer cans, shouldn't they have funded a sobriety campaign as well?)

The campaign drove home the message that keeping the country litter free was everybody's job.  It appealed to a sense of nationalism ("keep America clean") and gave everyone a role in it by channeling patriotism into the act of picking up litter wherever you go.

During its hey day the campaign tagline became part of popular culture and helped strengthen the litter prevention efforts across the US.

In Olongapo City, then Mayor Richard Gordon sought to clean up his city by getting everyone to sweep the street in front of their houses and strictly implemented an anti-littering ordinance.  This was later adopted by other LGUs throughout the country and was even given a slogan of sorts, "Tapat ko, Linis ko."

But the thing is, this didn't find itself into popular culture and so affect the general state of cleanliness around the country.

Perhaps, what can be done today is for government to ask advertisers of popular TV shows (everything from noon time game shows to teledramas) to exert influence on producers of TV shows to find ways of  motivate everyone to pick up litter wherever they find it.

Of course, in getting people to adopt the habit of picking up litter, the campaign should be done in tandem with strict enforcement of anti-littering laws.

People found littering don't have to pay money, but will be made to sweep a ten meter section of a sidewalk or street for an hour or two.  They will also be given the responsibility of apprehending others who throw litter their section of street, otherwise, every person that they allow to throw litter will result a penalty of 10 more minutes of sweeping or a meter more of road to take care of.

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