Monday, August 14, 2006

1996 Outstanding
Environmental Protection
and Management

Oplan Linis : Puerto Princesa City

Puerto Princesa was like many other cities in the country before Oplan Linis. Its streets and public markets were dirty; its port was in no better condition and its coastal lines littered with trash. Barely four moths after the program was launched in August 1, 1992, Puerto Princesa was radically transformed into a clean city. Oplan Linis has brought honor and prestige to a place previously known as a haven of prisoners and breeding place of malaria-causing mosquitoes. As a result, the health personnel and private medical practitioners noted reduced incidence of stomach illness, flu, and gastro-enteritis. There was no reported outbreaks of contagious diseases where there used to be one per year affecting 100 families in the squatter areas. The city had become a favorite place for official functions, tourism, recreation and Lakbay Aral (study tour) site thereby generating employment for the residents.

Central to the concept of Oplan Linis is value formation through intensive information and education campaigns. With school children as the primary targets, the program was pursued relentlessly by the government in partnership with the schools, churches, businesses, NGOs and the tri-media. The Anti-littering Ordinance is strictly enforced. Nobody is spared including the mayor and a visiting senator. Aside from cleanliness and sanitation, the other components of Oplan Linis included beautification, saving the bay and coastal areas and close monitoring of compliance. Behind the success of the program are the people themselves who are involved in cleaning up their immediate surroundings and not throwing trash anywhere. There is ownership of the program and collective pride in the discipline demonstrated by a large majority of the city residents.

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