Saving our habitat is not just a concern but a responsibility of all. It has been a subject not just of discussion but of policies formulated both in the international and national arena. With international and municipal laws enacted, people are expected to not just observe but to abide by such laws.

In the national front, the statutes enacted by congress are adapted through the passage of enabling laws enacted by the local legislative bodies, from the provincial, city, municipal and the barangay levels. With such legal framework, there is great hope and expectation that our mother earth will be amply protected, preserved and conserved for the present and future generations.

Unfortunately, we are not just hapless observers of the wanton disregard of our environment but are equally irresponsible and remiss of our obligation as stewards of mother earth. Verily, the laws and regulations to protect the environment are followed more on the breach than compliance. Well, that mayhap is the very reason laws are made for. It is very appalling that environmental laws are violated mostly by corporations that are the polluters of mother earth.

We are mere end-users of products that are in plastic containers instead of glass. Worse, the products are now in small sachets to cater to the poor consumers who cannot afford the high prices of such products such as soy sauce, processed vinegar, shampoo and other products that can be repacked. Old people could only remember the days when they can collect glass gallons from soy sauce and glass mugs from coffees.

What is appalling is that the poor end-users are the ones identifies as disposing plastics to the environment. The poor who live in the communities are obliged to do the garbage collection, segregation and disposal under pain of stiff fines and penalties. The task of community cleanup had been lodged upon government agencies that are mandated to protect the environment. These agencies that were compelled by a Supreme Court ruling to cleanup Manila Bay, had to set aside a chunk of its meager budget just to comply with the ruling now dubbed as the mandamus doctrine and the odd label of the mandamus agencies.

The efforts to cleanup Manila Bay became an undue burden on the national budget and the limited budget of the mandamus agencies. The polluter corporations would come out as heroes taking social responsibility by doing their share in cleaning the environment they polluted in the first place.

On the local level, the duty to protect the environment had been used palpably as a political show of the powers that be brandishing their might over political rivals allegedly polluting the localities, purposely missing to ban and nab the real polluters.
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