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Maria Angela A. Malihan Thesis Student College of Development Communication, University of the Philippines Los Baños
Benjamina Paula G. Flor Adviser and Assistant Professor College of Development Communication, University of the Philippines Los Baños
Abstract This study determined the communication capacity building needs of Republic Act 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000) enforcers. Specifically, it: (1) determined the enforcers’ knowledge regarding RA 9003, (2) determined the knowledge, perception, and practices in communication desirable for their job, (3) sought which of these knowledge, perception, and practices in communication did they posses, and (4) identified the gaps which could be addressed by training in communication. Through a community survey, self-administered questionnaires were distributed to 32 RA 9003 enforcers consisting of 11 barangay captains, 23 barangay councilors, and 2 barangay employees. Of these, majority (68.75%) had a low knowledge level in communicating RA 9003. Majority noted that the best way to disseminate provisions of RA 9003 is through interpersonal communication which runs counter to what the law prescribes of broad-based or mediated communication. No wonder then that the law on solid waste management has not been properly enforced. Skills gaps identified were on writing, conceptualizing, and choosing the appropriate mass media, nature of communication and communication channels/strategies that they could use and more intensive seminars in communicating RA 9003.
Key Words: capacity building needs, RA 9003, environmental law enforcers
List of Abbreviations IRR JHU/CCP KPP LGU P-Process PMO RA SAQ SWM UNESCAP Implementing Rules and Regulations John Hopkins University, Center for Communication Programs Knowledge, Perception, Practices Local Government Unit Policy/Project/Program-Process Privatization and Management Office Republic Act Self-Administered Questionnaire Solid Waste Management United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
INTRODUCTION Environmental degradation is a serious and an increasing concern of the country nowadays. The issue of solid waste is one of the top priorities of the government (UPFD-DENR and PMO-Presidential Task Force on Waste Management). In addressing the issue of solid waste problem, the government promulgated laws, local ordinances and specific programs designed for solid waste management. Some of these laws are Memorandum Circular no. 39A of 1993, Administrative Order No. 93-90 of 1993, and the Presidential Decree 825 of 1975 (www.emb.gov.ph). However, these were not successful. Thus, in the late 1990s, the government enacted Republic Act No. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 (referred in this study as RA 9003). RA 9003 is “deemed to be a broad based and comprehensive approach for solid waste management” (National Solid Waste Management Commission, 2004, ¶ 1). Since a broad-based approach is called for, Republic Act 7160 was promulgated which mandated the Local Government Units (LGUs) to enforce these laws. It was assumed that LGUs would have the proper knowledge, perception, and practices (KPP) in communicating those inasmuch as environmental law enforcement entails communication between the regulator and the regulated. There must be mutual understanding between them which did not happen. According to Supetran (1993, p.15) “the government has had a long history of failed programs and projects which could be traced to ineffective communication with its recipient, the people.” More so, Brillantes (1992, p.11) added that: “There is a general concern among the various municipal and provincial environmental and natural resources of the DENR about the general capabilities and capacities of the LGUs to adequately perform the devolved functions. This is primarily due to the perceived lack of technical capabilities at the local level.”
Since one of the technical capabilities is communication, hence, this study aimed to determine the capacity building needs in communication of RA 9003 enforcers in Los Baños in order to carry out their job effectively. Specifically, the study: (1) determined the respondent’s knowledge level regarding RA 9003, (2) determined the knowledge, perception, and practices in communication desirable for their job, (3) sought which of these knowledge, perception, and practices in communication did they possess, and (4) identified the gaps which could be addressed by training in communication.
Research Design The study employed community survey research design. It sought to describe the knowledge, perceptions, and practices of the RA 9003 enforcers regarding communication. The study tried to generate data and information as bases for formulating a training program in communication for environmental law enforcers in Los Baños, Laguna.
Location of the Study The community survey was conducted in Los Baños which is naturally endowed and declared as a science and a nature city.
Respondents Thirty-two enforcers from Los Baños – 9 barangay captains, 20 barangay councilors, and 3 barangay employees served as respondents of the study. They were from Anos, Bagong Silang, Bambang, Batong Malake, Baybayin, Bayog, Lalakay, Maahas, Malinta, Mayondon, Putho-Tuntungin, San Antonio, Tadlac, and Timugan.
Materials A five-part Self-Administered Questionnaire (SAQ) was distributed to respondents. The first part of the questionnaire determined the socio-demographic characteristics (name, age, sex, educational attainment, etc.) of the respondents. The second part determined the knowledge level of the respondents on RA 9003. It was composed of ten questions. The third, fourth, and fifth part sought the communication KPP of the RA 9003 enforcers respectively. For the communication knowledge part, the respondents were asked to rate their knowledge level in each communication concept using a four-point scale described as follows: 1-No Knowledge, 2-Low Knowledge, 3-High Knowledge, 4-Expert. The perception component of the questionnaire consisted of seven-item statements about communication. Respondents were asked to rate how they perceived the statements using this five-point scale: 1-Strongly Disagree, 2-Disagree, 3-Uncertain, 4-Agree, 5-Strongly Agree. For the practice aspect, the respondents were asked to check the box corresponding to communication channels/materials they were using in their in respect to enforcing RA 9003 in their barangays.
Also, a key informant interview was conducted to enable the researcher to understand better how RA 9003 is enforced in Los Baños.
Procedures The following procedures were undertaken: 1. A letter addressed to Councilor Leozardo Pantua was first given so that the researcher would be able to identify the proper respondents for the study. Data gathering was conducted from February 14 to 19 at the different barangay halls in Los Baños, Laguna; and 2. The self-administered questionnaires were distributed among the respondents; however, there were instances when the researcher personally read the SAQ upon their request.
Data Analysis The data obtained were analyzed using frequency counts, mean, ranks, and percentages. The knowledge level of respondents regarding RA 9003 was determined using the scale: 0-4 points, low; 5-8 points, average; and 9-10 points, high. On the other hand, in determining the knowledge level for each communication concept, responses to each item were summed up to produce a total score for each communication concepts. The total score was divided by the number of the respondents (32) to arrive at a mean score for each concept. Furthermore, to arrive at the general knowledge level of the respondents in communicating RA 9003, each of the respondent’s mean scores for all of the communication concepts were derived. Data
were analyzed through the following scale: No Knowledge=1.00, Low Knowledge=1.01– 2.50, High Knowledge=2.51– 3.99, Expert=4.00. As for the perception of the respondents, the same procedures were followed. Responses to the seven statements were totaled and divided by the number of the respondents. A scale was used to determine the perception level of the respondents based on the mean score: Strongly Disagree=1.00-1.80, Disagree=1.81-2.60, Uncertain=2.61-3.40, Agree=3.41-4.20, Strongly Agree=4.21-5.00. The communication method/channels that were checked () by the respondents were counted and ranked from highest to lowest. In finding out the gap of the communication knowledge, all communication concepts with scores lower than 2.51, which was the base score for high knowledge level, training for that communication concept was automatically recommended for the respondents. Likewise, for the gap in communication perception, a desired perception rate was assigned by the researcher for each statement. Failure to rate the desired perception will automatically suggest that the respondents needed training on such communication aspect. Tables were used to present the information more meaningfully.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Knowledge regarding RA 9003 In terms of knowledge regarding RA 9003, 24 out of 32 respondents got an average score, meaning a score between 5-8 on the knowledge test (refer to Table 1). Seven respondents garnered high scores ranging from nine to ten. The mean score of the respondents was 6.97.
Desired Communication KPP of RA 9003 Enforcers The desired communication KPP of RA 9003 enforcers were based on John Hopkins Center for Communication Programs’ (JHU/CCP) P-Process (1997). The Pprocess was used to determine if the respondents have knowledge in communication. And since it is knowledge alone that is being determined, only the first step (Analysis) in the P-process was used. Furthermore, according to JHU/CCP, the rest of the steps would be based from this step and if one did a good analysis, there is a great chance in the success of the communication program. Also, another basis for the desired KPP was the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the RA 9003 (p.26) which states that “the education and public information component shall describe how the LGU will educate and inform its citizens about source reduction, recycling, and composting programs. This shall be undertaken through the print and broadcast media…” Also, the LGUs, down to the barangay level, shall allocate a portion of their funds to public education and information activities on SWM particularly biodegradable and non-biodegradable wastes, but not limited to, installation of billboards on collection days for specific wastes, other outdoor signage,
stickers, flyers, conducting of seminars, and other effective non-traditional strategies. Hence, respondents were asked to rate themselves in terms of their knowledge level in various communication concepts. The desired score for the knowledge level of the respondents is in the range of 2.51 to four (i.e. equivalent to high and expert knowledge level). If the respondent’s score was below 2.51, he/she should automatically undergo training in that concept. On the other hand, for the gap in communication perception, failure to rate the desired perception will automatically suggest that the respondents needed training on such communication aspect. Lastly, based from the IRR of RA 9003, the Act should be communicated using the multi-channel approach or a combination of interpersonal communication and mass media (print, audio, audio visual).
Present Communication KPP of RA 9003 Enforcers Generally, majority (68.75%) of the respondents have a low knowledge level in communicating RA 9003 in Los Baños (refer to Table 3). Hence, the problems in communication identified by Brillantes (1992) holds true in the case of Los Baños, Laguna. And as Flor and Gomez (1993) mentioned, this might be attributed to lack of formal or non-formal education in communication. For the perception aspect, majority of the respondents viewed or perceived interpersonal communication as the most effective method in communicating the Act (refer to Table 4). Some of their answers were quite confusing because they agreed that mass media and interpersonal communication were both effective. Maybe this was due to their perception that in communicating the Act, one can communicate it effectively
regardless of the media used. Thus, the respondents should be trained or be informed about this matter. As for their practice, majority of the respondents used interpersonal communication (refer to Table 5). Printed material are the most popularly used in terms of mass media, followed by the audio visual media. They did not use radio as medium for communicating the Act. Therefore, it can be deduced that there is a possibility that the enforcers were not able to inform all the people in their community about RA 9003 since the extent of interpersonal communication is very limited.
Communication Gap that could be Addressed by Training Based on the data gathered, respondents should undergo training programs in writing and in conceptualizing for mass media writing, as well as in choosing the appropriate channel to be used in communicating RA 9003 (refer to Table 6). Likewise, the respondents should also be given lectures on the true nature of communication and various communication channels/strategies/tools that they could use in communicating RA 9003 or any of the government's policies.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Conclusions Majority of the respondents have a low knowledge level in communicating RA 9003 in Los Baños. Hence, the gap between the current capacity and the desired level has to be bridged through training programs in mediated communication.
Recommendations The results may have to be validated with a larger sample in cognizance of the perceived gap in the ability of LGUs to implement RA 9003. The notion that the LGUs lack the ability to communicate the law has great implications to the practice of solid waste management. This will not only be detrimental to the devolution process but will cast doubt on the ability of enforcers to ensure sustainability of natural resources.
The author gratefully acknowledge the support and assistance provided by the faculties and staff of the UPLB College of Development Communication, specially to Dr. Flor, Councilor Leozardo Pantua of Los Baños , Ma’am Violy of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Laguna Office, and Ms. Joan-Aika Elbo.
Brillantes, Alex B. Jr. (1992). Local Government and the Environmental Sector: Focus on the Implications of the 1991 Local Government Code. A discussion paper during the 8th EENP National Conference, Batac, Ilocos Norte, December 11, 1992 Department of Environment and Natural Resources. (2001). The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 9003. Diliman, Quezon City: DENR Management Bureau Environmental Management Bureau. (n.d.) Laws and Policies - Solid Waste Management. Retrieved March 23, 2007, from http://www.emb.gov.ph/lawsswm.html. Flor, Alexander G. and Ely D. Gomez (Ed.). (1993). Environmental Communication: Considerations in Curriculum and Delivery Systems Development. UPLB: Institute of Development Communication John Hopkins University, Center for Communication Programs. (1997). The P-Process. Maryland, USA National Solid Waste Management Commission. (2004). National Solid Waste Management Framework 2004. Diliman, Quezon City: National Solid Waste Management Commission, DENR Supetran, Amelia Dulce D. (1993). The Practitioner in Government. In: Flor, Alexander G. and Ely D. Gomez (Ed.,) Environmental Communication: Considerations in Curriculum and Delivery Systems Development. (pp.15) UPLB: Institute of Development Communication UPFD-DENR and PMO-Presidential Task Force on Waste Management. (n.d.). Policy Brief on Integrated Solid Waste Management System. Presidential Task Force on Waste Management
TABLES Table 1. Respondents’ knowledge level in RA 9003, Los Baños, 2007. Knowledge Level 0 – 4 (Low) 5 – 8 (Average) 9 – 10 (High) Total Frequency N=32 1 24 7 32
Table 2. General knowledge level in each communication concept, Los Baños, 2007. Communication Concepts Communication Planning Problem Analysis Program Analysis Audience Analysis Situational Analysis Approaching the Community Mass Lecture Small Group Discussion House-to-House Seminar Writing for Print Media Writing for Audio Media Writing for Audio Visual Media Conceptualizing for Print Media Conceptualizing for Audio Media Conceptualizing for Audio Visual Media Choosing Appropriate Print Media Choosing Appropriate Audio Media Choosing Appropriate Audio Visual Media Mean Score 2.69 2.44 2.59 2.59 2.63 2.81 2.69 2.69 2.84 2.66 1.84 1.84 1.72 1.97 1.72 1.75 2.28 2.06 2.06
Wherein: 1.00=No Knowledge; 1.01-2.50= Low Knowledge; 2.51-3.99= High Knowledge; and 4.00= Expert.
Table 3. General knowledge level in communicating RA 9003 enforcers Knowledge Level 1.00 = No Knowledge 1.01 – 2.50 = Low Knowledge 2.51 – 3.99 = High Knowledge 4.00 = Expert TOTAL Frequency N=32 0 22 10 0 32 Percentage (%) 0 68.75 31.25 0 100.0
Table 4. Respondents’ perception regarding the communication of RA 9003. Statements
1. Communication is important to be able to enforce the RA 9003 or any program and project of the government effectively. 2. Conducting an audience analysis to your target audience is important to be able to determine what communication materials are appropriate for them. 3. In making the communication materials, it is better to produce one material only and put it to places wherein a lot of people can see and/or hear it. 4. In making the communication materials, it is better to produce different materials that are suitable for different audience segments. 5. The use of mass media (radio, newspaper, television) is the best channel to use in informing the people about RA 9003. 6. The use of interpersonal media is the best channel to use in informing the people about RA 9003. 7. It is important to do a pre-test of your communication materials before mass producing it to ensure its effectiveness.
SD D UC A SA T
10 19 32
12 13 32
11 17 32
13 13 32
16 32 24 32
12 14 32
Wherein: SD=Strongly Disagree; D=Disagree; UC=Uncertain; A=Agree; SA=Strongly Agree; T=Total
Table 5. Communication methods used by the respondents. Communication Method Radio Drama Jingle Radio Plug Radio Documentary Radio News TV Commercial Comics Instructional film Newspaper Flip Charts Sound Slide Newsletter Symposium Exhibit Mass Lecture Poster Seminars Leaflets Bulletin Board Information Campaign Small Group Discussion Field Announcement House-to-House * Multiple Answers Frequency* 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 3 3 3 4 12 12 20 22 23 26 26 26 27 30 31 Percentage 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 6.25 6.25 9.38 9.38 9.38 12.50 37.50 37.50 62.50 68.75 71.88 81.25 81.25 81.25 84.38 93.75 96.88
Table 6. Communication concepts that the respondents needed training to. Communication Concepts Communication Planning Problem Analysis Program Analysis Audience Analysis Situational Analysis Approaching the Community Mass Lecture Small Group Discussion House-to-House Seminar Writing Print Media Writing Audio Media Writing Audio Visual Media Conceptualizing Print Media Conceptualizing Audio Media Conceptualizing Audio Visual Media Choosing Print Media Choosing Audio Media Choosing Audio Visual Media Desired 2.51 – 4.00 -do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-doCurrent Mean Score * 2.69 2.44 2.59 2.59 2.63 2.81 2.69 2.69 2.84 2.66 1.84 1.84 1.72 1.97 1.72 1.75 2.28 2.06 2.06
*scores of lower than 2.51 means respondents have to undergo training.
Table 7. Desired and current perception of RA 9003 enforcers. Statement 1. Communication is important to be able to enforce the RA 9003 or any programs and projects of the government effectively. 2. Conducting an audience analysis to your target audience is important to be able to determine what communication materials are appropriate for them. 3. In preparing the communication materials, it is better to produce one material only and put it at places wherein a lot of people can see and/or hear it. 4. In preparing the communication materials, it is better to produce different materials that are suitable for different audience segments. 5. The use of mass media (radio, newspaper, television) is the best channel to use in informing the people about RA 9003. 6. The use of interpersonal media is the best channel to use in informing the people about RA 9003. 7. It is important to do a pre-test of your communication materials before mass producing it to ensure its effectiveness. 4–5 1–2 4–5 4.22 4–5 4.16 1–2 4.34 4–5 4.16 Desired 4–5 Present (Mean) 4.47
Wherein: 1=Strongly Disagree, 2=Disagree, 3=Uncertain, 4=Agree, and 5= Strongly Agree
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