The Philippines is a beautiful country. It's funny that it took foreigners to "discover" areas here that are a wonder to behold: Boracay Island was first made public when a foreign movie crew learned of its existence. Jens Peters, a German traveler, included rave reviews of the island in his book. Thanks to people from other nations, the beauty of the Philippine Islands is now well-known.

And yet, we don't really seem to be great stewards of these treasures. For example, in Boracay Island, though the White Beach is still very much amazing with its white, powdery sand that you'll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else, has grown ugly to behold with all the crowded commercial establishments. Other areas of Boracay are also less than pleasant to see; some areas are flooded, and there are slummy-looking districts as well.

One other thing that makes me sad about how we take our treasures for granted would be the fact that our government allows stray dogs to just roam the streets freely.

It is no different here in Boracay. Despite the laws keeping pet owners from bringing their furry friends on Front Beach, there are no people responsible for the street mutts who do as they please on the prized powdery sands of Boracay.

What this country needs is a more effective execution of the law.

And some dog pounds. Cruel as it may be to round up the dogs and execute them when nobody claims them as pets, there are some things that are more important than animal compassion. For one, human health should be held with high regard and priority.

A lot of gastrointestinal ailments come from fecal matter. Coliform grows off of fecal matter. Amoebiasis is from the protozoan Amoeba, which lives off of fecal matter. Hepatitis A, or a variant of a viral inflammation of the liver, is transmitted by fecal matter that has traveled from its source, to a food preparer's hand, then to food. Or from fecal matter that somehow finds its way into food and gets ingested.

While we certainly cannot blame just the dogs for the spread of diseases like these, especially since human fecal matter would be more to blame for diseases like Hepatitis A, it is still an imperative to take action on the spread of animal, especially canine, dung. It may be irritating to hear something said repeatedly, but I cannot stress it enough: the poop we don't clean off our streets are not just mounds of annoyance; they are health hazards.

It's easy to have a bleeding heart for dogs who could get executed when the Philippines finally develops a pound system when you have never been visited by a disorder that could have come from their poop. But when you've been inconvenienced by sharp, stabbing abdominal pain, and have said seen thousands of pesos go down the drain for your hospitalization and medical therapy, you may start to change your mind.

-The Scribbler