Ajuy town feted for ‘excellent’ solid waste management

The Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office of Ajuy received cash incentives after being awarded as the best local government unit in the province in terms of solid waste management. (Rjay Zuriaga Castor photo)

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

The local government of Ajuy has been recognized as the most outstanding unit in the province of Iloilo for its effective ecological and sustainable solid waste management system.

Ajuy was awarded P300,000 in cash incentives and an additional P20,000 for its exceptional Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer (MENRO) during the 7th year of the Gawad KKK (Kalinisan, Kalusugan at Kasagana-an) awarding ceremony on Tuesday.

The awarding ceremony was spearheaded by the Provincial Government Environment and Natural Resources Office (PGENRO) in line with the 2nd Provincial Environmental Awareness Month Culmination.

The PGENRO reported that, among the 20 finalists, Ajuy’s MENRO showcased “excellent” practices in waste reduction, source segregation, and waste diversion, earning a total of 99 points.

“This is unexpected, although we have been preparing for this, especially during our preparation for the Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan (MMK) Awards, where we earned the first runner-up position out of the hundred municipalities in the country,” said Sangguniang Bayan member Loida Espinosa.

Espinosa shared that one of the components of the MMK Awards, organized by the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, is solid waste management.

“We also encourage other local government units (LGUs) in coastal municipalities to do the same. It is challenging in the beginning, but if your programs are in place, everything will just follow,” she added.

The ecological and sustainable solid waste management systems of the LGUs were assessed and rated based on their performance as good, satisfactory, very satisfactory, ideal, and excellent.

For a good performance assessment, the LGU received P30,000 cash incentive, P50,000 for satisfactory, P100,000 for very satisfactory, P200,000 for ideal, and P300,000 for excellent.

Outstanding MENROs from each town also received incentives ranging from P3,000 to P20,000 based on their performance levels.

Tubungan, San Miguel, and Batad earned a good rating; Leon, New Lucena, Sta. Barbara, Dueñas, and Barotac Viejo received satisfactory ratings; Tigbauan, Bingawan, Janiuay, Lambunao, Dingle, and Concepcion achieved a very satisfactory rating; and Oton, Leganes, Pavia, Mina, and Dumangas were rated as ideal.

PGENRO head Atty. Cesar Emmanuelle Buyco Jr. emphasized the importance of promoting sustainable solutions for solid waste management.

“In today’s world where waste generation is increasing at an alarming rate, it is crucial to have partners that take the lead in implementing sustainable waste management practices and this has been done all throughout the Philippines,” he said.

Buyco noted that what sets LGUs in the province apart from others is their “holistic approach to waste management and their cohesiveness in working together.”

He further commended the commitment of the MENROs despite their positions being optional among LGUs and their contractual employment status.

“We of all people understand this challenge […] These MENROs have transcended the difficulties. Their commitment to education, awareness, and community involvement has gone a very long way,” he said.