2 Towns Launch Eco-Park Projects

The establishment of ecology parks in the towns of San Andres and San Miguel was formally launched last week as the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) held out hope that six other municipalities would be able to qualify for similar projects.

DILG assistant regional director Elouisa Pastor told the Tribune that the Agencia Española Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarollo (AECID), through Technical Cooperation Office program officer Gonzalo Serrano, had assured that the Spanish agency would stay longer beyond the Dec. 31, 2011 termination. This guarantees that the towns of Pandan, Bagamanoc, Panganiban, Viga, Bato, and Gigmoto has a chance to avail of the multi-million peso grants for environmental management projects under the Strengthening Local Governments in the Philippines (SLGP) program of the DILG.

In lauding the two recipient towns for their efforts, DILG Regional Director Blandino Maceda said that the two projects are proof of how local government executives manage their towns as the grants are given only to LGUs which excel in local governance, has good partnership between the executive and legislative branches, and shows managerial effectiveness and efficiency.

Maceda also disclosed that the towns of Virac and San Andres are qualified to receive P2 million each in project funds under the Seal of Good Housekeeping program of the department as reward for good performance in the delivery of basic services and compliance with laws, rules and regulations. He added that all 4th to 6th class towns in Catanduanes did not qualify for the Performance Incentive Grant System.

For his part, Engr. Patrick John Mejia, head of the DILG Institutional Partnership Unit, expressed optimism that the projects would be sustained by the recipient LGUs and generate income for them, as the grant includes business planning among its capacity-building activities. He also bared that Secretary Jesse Robredo would be present in the turnover of computers for towns implementing the Business Permit Licensing System (BPLS) and Business One-Stop Shop.

The twin projects likewise received congratulations from Congressman Cesar Sarmiento who, through district officer Rudy Rojas, hoped the other towns would put their own eco-parks. He revealed that he will be providing a bio-reactor and other equipment through the DOST for a similar eco-park in Virac.

Governor Joseph Cua, whose family leased the San Andres eco-park site for free to the LGU for 15 years, stressed that LGUs need to be proactive in coming up with measures to address the build-up of solid waste and promised his administration’s support for environmental undertakings.

San Andres received P3.5 million from AECID and provided P1.2 million as counterpart fund while San Miguel got P2 million paired with P1.05 million in local funds. With the two towns enforcing a no-segregation-no-collection ordinance, the eco-parks would process biodegradable, non-biodegradable, recyclable and residual wastes. It would feature a Materials Recovery Facility as well as composting plots and other livelihood projects such as converting styropor into usable materials and CHB making using residual waste. Most of the funding will go to the construction of the MRF and acquisition of equipment.

Source: Catanduanes Tribune - 11 July 2011