I met Carlos Abilla when I first went photowalking. He pointed to my camera and said he wanted to be a photographer, and because money was sparse, he somehow found a way to illegally move out of the country to go work in Malaysia as one. He was caught, jailed, and now he’s residing in Davao City working odd jobs.
I saw him at San Pedro Church selling strings of the fragrant sampaguita.
He pointed to my camera again and said, “I used to do that before, too”.
A few awkward seconds of silence passed.
This is Nanay Violeta holding a baby she was paid to babysit for a day. Nanay is one of the informal settlers in Kabacan, Bucana, who have no access to proper sanitation facilities. The large pond near their makeshift houses serve to be their “comfort room,” where they throw their wastes wrapped in old rice sacks and bags of cellophane. Nanay recalls that in her younger days, she’d use cut up strips of old white shirts during her menstrual period when she couldn’t afford feminine napkins. #communityjournalism#informalsettlers#urbanpoor#davao
In one of Davao City’s largest villages, Bucana, lies an old fish pond that used to be a home for milk fishes, but now houses tons of cellophane bags of human excrement from informal settlers in the area who have no access to proper sanitation facilities. Further, a septic tank from nearby was reported to have been disposing its waste directly into the pond.
The residents claim that they have been suffering for a long time headaches and nausea due to the foul stench emanating from the murky green waters of their village.
Until now, no action has been given from officials to address health concerns, save for the dengue-prevention fogging, said the residents. But it was funded by foreigners, not by the local officials, said one.
It was in February 2010 that the Davao City Council passed the Davao City Septage and Sewerage Ordinance which states in a provision that the local government, through its barangay unit, should construct communal toilets and septic tanks in areas where informal settlers cannot afford to build.