Magandang Gensan! (Beautiful Gensan!)
As the battle cry rang throughout the city, the General Santos City government kicked-off a city-wide campaign to ban open burning and to formally launch the local ordinance regulating the use of plastic bags and styrofoam with the “General Santos City Stop Open Burning Awareness Fun Run” on December 10, 2017. The footrace was a part of the awareness-raising events of the Demonstration of Best Available Techniques (BAT) and Best Environmental Practices (BEP) in Open Burning Activities in Response to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), a project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The event was aimed at raising awareness about the detrimental effects of open burning to human health and the environment.
More than 400 runners joined the fun run consisting of 3-km and 5-km courses and started at the covered court on the General Santos City Oval Plaza. Open to people of all ages from all walks of life from the 26 barangays (villages) of the city, the race had winners take home medals for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place positions in the male and female categories.
Around 800 solid waste management enforcers from the 26 barangays were deputized to enforce the “no segregation – no collection” policy, the ban on open burning, and the local ordinance regulating plastic bags and styrofoam.
The fun run was fully supported by the local government of General Santos City as well as the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. (UNIDO BAT and BEP in Open Burning Activities/ Project Management Unit)