Here in Surigao City – Togbongon is where I live and wanting to retire; for more then 15 Years I worked and worked and worked – never really had time to live in Togbongon. Late last year I decided to retire and start my business and spent my time with my family whom I truly love so much.


Trash is everywhere, here-there and everywhere – no one seems to care and there are no trash bins – mosquitoes breeding, flies and bugs are making me go crazy…then I started clearing my own home environment to be a testimony for all our neighbours to emulate. I activated my nieces, nephews and sisters, my son Brandon to put all their hands to clear the place – then I decided that I will have my own farm, chicken, mini-mart and a resto-cafe. I started from scratch – I believe in whether you can or cannot you are absolutely right!!! I believe I can and I did it.

Then I came to a roadblock – where to throw all these trash?? WHERE?? WHERE?? I spoke to the barangay authorities no one cares – then I call the trash trucks – they say they won’t go to our place because of the road is small and is not part of their work…..I fumed!!! truly fumed!!! Then I told them I will pay to clear all these trash – they came immediately….THIS IS THE KIND OF ATTITUDE WE HAVE IN BARANGAY!! Is this a long term solution – ABSOLUTELY NO!!!


Getting workers to help in my project – I decide to get contract workers to build my farm, mini-mart and resto – I gave them what they deserve according to the law – 400 – 500 peso a day to work. They worked well the first few days then the drama started – absent , laziness, demanding more and more…my project slowdown dramatically. The worst situation for me was that I pay them and yet I need to check them every single minute or else they will just relax one corner, smoke and whatever…this really make me frustrated – with all the frustration I continue to believe in myself and continued to get better workers. The workers likewise – they throw trash everywhere – the project was left with massive trash each day and they just don’t care. I had a big problem – there are no proper designated place to throw all this trash – so I started burning them – decompose them and make them fertilisers and etc. (If I call the truck I have to pay again – which is very frustrating)  Once again this will never be our long term solution. When there are heavy rain – THAT’S IT – FLOOD, FLOOD AND FLOOD – This is not the nature problem – this is everybody’s problem…choked drainage, no proper drainage system in the barangay and sanitary issues – of or relating to health or the conditions affecting health, especially with reference to cleanliness, precautions against disease, etc.


Is approximately 12km away from the place I am staying – I didn’t mind the distance and throwing trash at the right place. I want and determine to be a good example for all the people of Togbongon for long term living conditions for all our children and future generation. Also I want to create value of this place so that our land and assets will grow in value and will attract visitors from all over to visit our farm and resto. There is went I met these two ladies and their team who said that there are number of programs for trash but this programs never ever reach to the residence of Barangay – Togbongon. I am sure this same situation is everywhere in other barangay’s. EDNA A. FUENTES and SANDIE A. CAGATA – they are both from City Environment and Natural Resources Office. We had a meeting at our farm and they told several options and we requested Trash Bins for our Barangay so that we can keep the place clean and they replied YES!! we will but for now we have no budget. I hope the city government will provide budget of the people of togbongon in Surigao City so that we all here can clean up the place and set a good example for all other barangay. We also hope that there will proper trash trucks coming each week to all these barangay’s to collect trash – I am sure we all are prepared a small sum for maintaining the place clean – just like other developed countries – they pay conservative charges to private companies to clear their trash 3 times a week and pay monthly a small amount. Hope such approach can be taken from the authorities of Surigao City.


I have suggested to City Environment and Natural Resources Office that they can use our resto premises to conduct their monthly FREE sessions on hygiene and trash management. We also discuss several programs and I am prepared to pay for the prizes or incentives for those who complies to the system. I believe such initiatives should come from the authorities for long term sustainable programs. As for now I decided to work with City Environment and Natural Resources Office Miss Edna A. Fuentes and Sandie A. Cagata to get things going for our barangay people.

I took so much time and energy to ensure I am able to transform my barangay – I will also ask myself – stop asking what the government can do for me but rather what I can contribute. Today my home and my place of action is clean and awesome. People from all over the Surigao cities are coming to visit us, people from different barangay are enjoying their nights and weekends at our resto – which is style of 5 star but the price is Barangay Price. I hope one day the President or someone from high authorities will come and visit and address our challenges. Is not only the cities that everyone should pay attention but it must start from Barangay then the city will be all good – as good habits must come from outskirt or else these people who goes to city to work will continue their trash throwing and hygiene issues.

Once again I hope the City Environment and Natural Resources Office will continue to assist and educate the people here. I will continue my journey and I will continue to improve starting with my place then the rest with the help of the authorities. I am prepared to render my place for FREE for training sessions conducted by City Environment and Natural Resources Office. Miss Edna A. Fuentes and Sandie A. Cagata are all ready to assist. Soon they will give us tarpaulin and other collaterals to be place all over so that the people here in our barangay will come for training and be aware that there are good programs to improve the environment.

Article by:  Sharon – CEO of D’Parlei Marketing & Services, Finwaze Philippine Financial Education and a Financial Adviser to Sunlife.



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