Dr. George Tizon, chief education supervisor for school operations and governance of DepEd TaPat. (Photo courtesy of Dr. George Tizon)

Waste Management is a subject that should be taken seriously, as waste continues to scatter and grow more than fruits of nature should. For it to be taken seriously, it must be educated among individuals. And what’s more effective than education at home?

Traditionally, parents send their children to school for their intellectual development. And it has been said it can be other way around by letting their children share and express the fruits from the education. Not only parents, but also children should strive to become a model citizen.

In line with this vision, Department of Education’s (DepEd) Taguig and Pateros (TaPat) division are putting up a program in which students were assigned to patrol over their parent’s compliance with cleanliness measures, including garbage disposal, segregation, and reduction.

Dubbed as the “Bantay-Magulang” Waste Management Project, Taguig City’s education czar Dr. George Tizon said the program was based on the division’s Memorandum 13, series of 2020, or the Waste Management Program, which has been integrated in the schools’ homeroom class as part of the students’ elective subjects.

“The problem of garbage reduction is not confined within a particular city but Mayor Lino Cayetano is formulating policies that will benefit not only the city of Taguig but the rest of Metro Manila, such as the Bantay-Magulang Waste (Management) program, where students and parents at home play a very vital role,” said Tizon.

The project will launch at the Gat Andres Bonifacio Elementary School in Barangay The Fort on February 1, where all parents, teachers, and student-leaders will be participating. Parents and local officials will also sign a covenant to show their support for the program.

The goal of the project is to teach the children the importance of segregating biodegradable waste from non-biodegradable waste and achieve the project’s goal of decreasing the collected garbage in the city by 50 percent.

While teaching the children the importance and methods of waste management, they will also be given the quest to teach their parents of the same, and to give out reports regarding the how much garbage were collected from their homes. With this, students will be given the tasks to encourage and guard their parents who were reported to have failed to comply.

“It will be monitored and reported by the children in their classes to ensure their compliance,” Tizon said, adding that this will have effects on the academic performance of the students.

“We know that children sometimes obey their teachers more than their parents. So we want to take advantage of this situation for the parents to follow the Waste Management Program of the local government because of their children’s involvement,” DepEd-TaPat Schools Division Superintendent, Dr. Margarito Materum, also said in a text message. “Children do not want to be embarrassed in class simply because of their parents’ non-adherence nor do they want to lie to their teachers. This may probably resolve the discipline problem we need in every household.”

Taguig Mayor Lino Cayetano nodded to this, saying that the waste management efforts are long-term solutions to Metro Manila’s garbage problem. “This is part of our Green Governance agenda here in Taguig City, which aims to decrease the amount of waste by avoiding single-use plastics, segregating, and recycling the garbage.”

In the case of regulating or banning single-use plastics, Taguig is yet to create the policy. Meanwhile, Las Piñas, Pasay, Pasig, Makati, Muntinlupa, and Quezon City had already put up a single-use ban policy in several establishments among the following cities.