DAPITAN CITY – Calling it the “Grab” for garbage, two brothers here tied up with the local government to use their “Hakoot” mobile application that provides a platform for garbage collectors and the public.
Claiming to be the first in the country, Hakoot developer Efren Jamolod Jr. – a Dapitanon working as software architect in Linköping, Sweden – said he and his brother Jesrome, a software engineer in Cebu City, developed two applications for the system: one for the garbage collectors and the other for residents and establishments.
“Through their cell phones, residents and establishments can in real-time inform garbage collection management the volume and kind of garbage they want to dispose of,” Efren said.
On the other hand, he said, the city’s solid waste management receives inputs that will enable them to efficiently manage the routes of their garbage trucks, effectively dispatch garbage trucks and crew, and decide whether there is a need to send garbage trucks for another round.
Efren said that Hakoot enables residents and establishments to monitor through their cell phone the location and direction of garbage trucks. An existing ordinance provides that garbage should be taken out to the streets only when garbage collectors arrive.
“Hakoot enables residents to know when to take out their garbage, unlike the present set up wherein residents and establishments have to watch out the whole day for the garbage truck that sometimes doesn’t come,” he said.
Nevertheless, Efren stressed that the maximum effectiveness of Hakoot will still depend on solid waste management infrastructure – enough garbage trucks and collectors, the establishment of Material Recovery Facilities and the main residual containment facility.
Alvi Agolong, City General Service Office chief, acknowledged the challenge on the part of the city, noting that it still lacks some essential equipment and facilities. “We have the residual containment facility, but we still have to prod each barangay leadership to establish their own material recovery facilities. Worse, we don’t have garbage trucks, we just borrow two dump trucks from the Engineering Office,” Agolong said.
The problem with borrowing trucks is that it can only be used for a single round on its route every day, “and it has to be sent back for engineering works,” Agolong said.
Dapitan only has about five tons of garbage daily, which can be taken care of with three to four garbage trucks and about 32 collectors and drivers. At present, Agolong admitted that they can hardly collect the city’s garbage, “particularly if the schedule is disrupted when the aging dump trucks bogged down or if trucks are already full before its routes are completely covered.
Efren said the mobile application was designed out of the frustration of residents, who “have no one else to go but the social media. We were troubled, annoyed with the rants of our fellow Dapitanons on uncollected garbage, that’s why I called up my brother telling him we have to do something.”
“Thus the birth of Hakoot, but we will continue on improving the software through the feedback of those in solid waste management and the residents and establishments. Hakoot has to be tailored fit for the needs of the city,” Efren said.
The Jamolods and the city government have already agreed to use Hakoot in principle, and a memorandum of agreement will be signed soon with Mayor Rosalina Jalosjos, who just ordered the immediate purchase of two new garbage trucks and another two next year.
Asked why the two-letter “o” in Hakoot, the developers smilingly answered: “That’s how we Bisaya pronounce it.” (Gualberto Laput)
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