Typhoon Maring was at its peak at the break of dawn last August 20. The winds were howling and waves were hammering the jetty of the Lighthouse Marina Resort in Subic Bay.
It was the second day of the Waste Management Seminar. The attendees today were representatives of the 13 towns of Zambales including Olongapo City Barangays.
At 7am, an hour before the start or the workshop, we were not expecting anyone to arrive. Surprisingly, the first ones to arrive were Ms. Genalyn Bilingit, LGY Representative of Iba and Ms. Marife Castillo, DENR Area Coordinator. People started arriving and by 9am we were able to start with a total of 53 attendees from the local government units like Department of Education, PMMA, PCG,PNP, Colleges in Zambales, Subic Water, CENRO, and PREDA including Vice. Governor Ramon Lacbain II.
The seminar started with a welcome remark from the Vice Governor. He expressed his gratitude to everyone who was able to attend. According to him that it is about time that we need to be serious with our garbage. Though the amount of waste in majority of the towns in Zambales are still tolerable, the vice governor believes that we should not wait until the problem gets out of hand. He recognises that there is problem and with these kinds of activities we get some tips and learn.
This seminar is also part of the information campaign that we are launching for the "Shore it Up, International Coastal Cleanup". The objective of this campaign is to inspire everyone particularly our leaders to take a stand in our fight against the destruction of the environment and give more meaning to the upcoming coastal cleanup on September 21.
The workshop also includes a presentation of the Mayor of San Felipe, Hon. Carolyn Fariñas. The municipal of San Felipe is an 8-year Best Performer and Hall of Fame awardee of the Clean and Green Program as well as a winner of the Award of Excellence in the implementation of the E-governance for Municipal Development Program from the DTI.
Their Solid Waste Management Program is indeed a model to follow in our goal for a "Zero-Waste". According to Mayor Fariñas, "Zero-Waste is an ambitious target, but if you don't have a goal, then you won't go anywhere. That is why even if Zero-Waste is a challenge, we will try to achieve it because, libre naman mangarap.".
Mr. Bert Guevara, President of Earth Day Network, a former Barangay Captain in Paranaque and a graduate of landscape architecture from UP discussed and reviewed the RA 9003 and its 4Es Approach. Mr. Bert Guevara is part of the group who made the Implementing Rules and Regulations pertaining to RA 9003 as a representative of the National Liga ng mga Barangay back in 2001. He also discussed a paradigm shift which he calls the "Full Waste Recovery Program". This program includes participation of private industries in the recovery of their used packaging. Its a 5-point Philosophy according to Mr. Guevara.
1. Trash + Value = Resource
2. People-friendly Collection
3. Corporate Social Responsibility
4. Organized Recycling
5. Incentive - What's in it for me?
During the breakout session, Mr. Guevara asked the representatives of Olongapo Barangays to come up with a plan on segregation using the 4Es matrix (education, engineering, enforcement and economic aspects of each sectors) that tackles several sources like households, businesses and government establishments.
The two barangays that presented were Brgy. Pag-Asa represented by Jimmy Basag, Lutgarda Yanglay, Joy Altares and Alicia Cepeda; and Brgy. Baretto represented by Desiree Sumala, Ronald Elayda, Rolan Napuli and Gregorio Lappay.
It was an amazing whole day of learning despite the rough weather. It was nice to see that there are people out there in our government who are doing their part to save our environment. At the end of the workshop, Vice Gov. Lacbain II together with the Mr. Sam Ablola, Chairman of the Environment Committee said that they are happy with what they have learned and will make sure to implement these learnings. "We are proud to have a model municipal like San Felipe. We want all the towns of Zambales to learn from them and replicate their successful programs," Vice Gov. Lacbain II added. He also said that he is very glad to be part of the upcoming Shore it Up International Coastal Clean up on Sept 21. He hopes that with these information and educational campaign, people will join the cleanup not because they are told to do it but because they want to help.
The Lighthouse Marina Resort understands our obligation to the community and will continue to be a beacon of hope and a guide to a better tomorrow for the community that we live in. We will strive to create a sea of change.
This event is made possible through the generous support of the Metro Pacific Investment Foundation (MPIF) and through the efforts of the International Yachting Fellowship of Rotarians - Philippine Fleet under the leadership of Mr. Jun Avecilla, the International Vice Commodore of IYFR and president of the Lighthouse Marina Resort.
Written by: Zed Avecilla, Marketing Manager of The Lighthouse Marina Resort
Dedicated in creating a wave of change to help preserve our environment