Contradictions


We Americans get puzzled over the presence of so many contradictions here in te Philippines. Filipinos are very proud to say they keep their bodies and houses ciean. This is true. You cannot complain about the physical hygiene or of the cleanliness of the average Filipino hpme, in some cases that is. But why is it that the public road and side streets are strewn with litter and garbage? Public sanitation is appalling despite  street sweepers sweeping twelve hours a day. Here’s a good explanation which Filipinos are not aware of. Filipinos make a distinction between their private space and the public space. They do not think of Public Space as being a shared community asset which must be cared for and respected by all. These concerns are believed to be the task of the government. Filipinos  have not come to terms with their relationship with the government (taxes, jaywalking, littering etc.), their responsibilities and the effects of their actions ( in this case non action). Like if there are no traffic police around, traffic lights and signs are simply ignored. A person in authority is respected, but a depersonalized sign will very likely be overlooked.

People throw ther trash in the streets because there are garbage trucks are designated by the government to collect trash. The fact that garbage collectors often pick up trash on assigned corners is interpreted as a signal to create huge, unsightly and unhygienic mountains of trash.

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