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GIDIFA

Global Infrastructure, Development & International Finance Agency

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AdoptAHighwayLiving in Metro Manila, it can be easy to forget just how important water is, especially in an Island Nation like the Philippines. It is not so much that anybody would forget the importance of the water, but rather that the entire ecological and environmental impact of the water and how it affects everyday life. GIDIFA will be introducing a great many different programs for the waters surrounding the Philippines in addition to the inland waterways and the many rivers, lakes and even water runoffs utilized by so many farmers in agricultural pursuits. It would be more beneficial and more effective however, if the people of the Philippines were to consider the benefits of coming together as communities and as regular citizens, not only in support of the nation on a sociological level, but also for the sake of keeping the Philippines safe, clean and a more beautiful place for natives and tourists alike. Water and the waterways are also a very important part of national defense and security, and as such, even more focus needs to be placed on programs within the Philippines for the purposes of protecting and securing the waterways and keeping them safe for those people who do travel via the many routes over the waters here. A comprehensive and national solution implemented by the locals at the local level seems to be the most effective and immediate solution but it cannot happen without an adequate level of financial and logistical support and coordination from the top of government down to the people ... or from the people themselves up to the very top levels of government if such need be the case.

 

It would be nice to believe that everybody concerns themselves with the waters in and around the Philippines on a daily basis, but a quick glance out as the LRT and MRT pass by the Pasig River should quickly dispel such a notion. The sad reality is that for most people living in the city, about the only time that water becomes a major issue of concern is when none comes out of the water tap or spigot. Bridges have in far too many cases, become viable locations for dumping trash as it conveniently gets “washed away” with the first strong rainfall. Unfortunately, this also means that this trash also accumulates in the many water ways, not only in Manila, but throughout the entire country. While this entire conversation could quickly turn into nothing more than a gripe session, what good does it do to point out problems if no solution is readily available? Fortunately, there are a great many solutions to this problem, especially in more densely populated, urban centers like Manila.

In different countries around the world, many business interests will “adopt” sections of roadways, waterways or even parks. Part of this “adoption” process is making regular visits to pick up garbage and to ensure that the locations are kept relatively clean and free of garbage and other debris. In return, these corporate entities are given the opportunity to post a sign or signs up, not only to show that they are the ones who have adopted the area, but also serving as a promotion for their products and/or services. Furthermore, these activities offer the corporate interests an excellent opportunity to bring their employees and their families out and encouraging more socialization among the employees. This has, historically at least, often been directly attributed for (even minor) increases in production and efficiency in the work place. The money that the city or barangay saves, can then be utilized for other, perhaps more pressing concerns within these areas.

For that matter, entire communities would be just as likely to benefit from adopting the areas around them as it would again serve to bring the people closer together. An immediate benefit would be the potential for an increase in property values as the neighborhoods were cleared of debris and garbage. Corporate sponsors could also be actively sought and, if enough people were actually interested and pushed the concept, it could be turned into a situation wherein everyone would win ... and perhaps the Pasig River would not become a sight for sore eyes, rather than being the sore sight for eyes that it is in its current state!

It is nearly impossible to help those who refuse to help themselves, but if anything, the people of this great Republic have proven time and again that, on such occasions as the people do come together, virtually anything is possible ... even the most impossible of tasks and overcoming the most insurmountable of odds. This nation does need organizations such as GIDIFA to implement a great many programs, but

the true strength of the Republic of the Philippines and the ability to rebuild this nation ultimately belongs to the very people whom, at the end of the day, are what these programs, and indeed, what the very heart of this country are all about.

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