By Dolly Yasa
BACOLOD City – Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Enviromental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) representative Sheelamite Labrador said it is essential for the community to put up a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) “as a vital component of solid waste management in the Barangay level for effective waste segregation among households to address mismanagement of recyclables and bio-degradable waste.”
Labrador stressed this point during the 2-day workshop of the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO), in partnership with Victorias Milling Company (VMC).
The 2-day workshop focused on effective solid waste management with members from both the private and government sector held in Northland, Manapla.
The workshop brought in experts from DENR-EMB Region VI to educate Barangay Purisima leaders and its constituents on how to reduce waste disposal and proper waste segregation to protect the environment.
VMC President Linley Retirado said they are looking forward to collaborating with the local government unit to pursue this initiative.
“As a partner in community development, it is VMC’s thrust to help spur interest that goes beyond the protection of the environment, and we hope this workshop will lead to the establishment of an MRF in Brgy. Purisima which will not only address environmental and health problems but will someday be a resource for income generation,” Retirado said.
“We want to be enablers of development and help the community become self-sustainable,” Retirado added.
Republic Act 9003 mandates the establishment of MRF in a barangay or a cluster of barangays where collected wastes are brought for final sorting. Recyclable wastes are then sold to recyclers while biodegradable wastes will be processed and turned into compost materials. Residual wastes will thereafter be transferred to a long-term storage or disposal facility.
Sangguniang Bayan member Mika Escalante, Vice Chair of the Committee on Environment who joined the workshop, lauded the initiative as a model of how government and the private sector can collaborate with each other to address issues on health and the environment and generate revenue as well.
Escalante stressed the benefits of solid waste management, enjoining barangay leaders to put efforts into recycling and upcycling.
“We can make eco-bricks out of our trash, particularly plastic wastes and re-sell it to barangays for use as road bricks or in the establishments. It has many benefits, not only clean and green wise, but income-wise,” Escalante said.
“I am very happy with this initiative, especially if we can set up an MRF in the area because it can really become income generating for the community,” she added.
Among the attendees were members from the municipal government, namely, DILG Manapla LGOO IV Cherry Lacida, SB member Armando Panique, Committee on Environment chair; MENRO Department Head Victor Lapidez, Sanitary Inspector Arthur Miraflores III, and MPDO-OIC Genevieve Arcobillas.
Purisima village head Crescenciano Sombero Jr. led the SB members along with the other constituents representing the various zones in the barangay, health workers, the academe, the PNP, the Tricycle Association, and the Wet Market Association.