By Lingling Maranan-Claver
Photos: Lingling Maranan-Claver
July 12, 2016
Tucked in the busy area of EDSA and West Avenue Quezon City is the quiet neighborhood of PhilAm Homes. A former private subdivision with grandmotherly trees, PhilAm homes became a barangay in 1974. Today it is a 45-hectare community of 6,000 individuals belonging to 650 households. While there are longtime residents, the barangay is also home to a big number of transients and around 300 business establishments.
Barangay PhilAm Homes is remarkable for being one of the pioneering and growing number of communities in the country that understand the wisdom of adapting a barangay-based, cost-effective ecological solid waste management program. It is also attuned to the need of our times to make wise use of resources, in this case, of biodegradable kitchen and yard wastes that are returned to the soil to enrich and make it productive.
It all started in 1992, when the forward-thinking PhilAm Homeowners Ladies’ Auxiliary Brigade started the segregation program for biodegradables and non-biodegradables.
Later in 1999, the barangay formed a multi-sectoral management council for a more comprehensive waste management program. It was also a response to the growing clamor for the closure of the Payatas dumpsite.
In 2000, the barangay constructed its own Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and Ecology Center. They also bought a composter worth P800, 000.00 and hired 4 people to man the facility. An adjacent lot is dedicated to the community garden planted to corn, cassava, grapes, and an assortment of vegetables and herbs. The produce benefit the personnel of the ecology center. An underground rainwater harvester with a capacity of 1.5 million gallons provides adequate water for the plants. After 16 years, the solid waste program of the community is still in place under the leadership of the present barangay captain, Mr. Simplicio Hermogenes. Mr. Hermogenes heads the Solid Waste Management, Environment and Infrastructure committee of the community. He is also described by a kagawad as a genius in farming and is ecological-minded.
During our visit to interview the barangay captain, we were received instead by Ms. Sabrina Kintanar, the kagawad who heads the Parks committee. According to Ms. Kintanar, the success of their program lies on the implementation of the 4 Es.
• Barangay Ordinance No. 02-s-2003 dated July 17, 2003, which prohibits and penalizes littering, dumping, throwing of waste in open, public spaces, parks, alleys, canals, creeks and drainage systems is strictly enforced.
• There are deputized environmental officers in its 16 puroks to enforce provisions of RA 9003.
• SWMC gives out cash prizes, tokens, plaques to homeowners who conscientiously practice eco waste disposal.
• Representatives from Quezon City’s Environmental Protection and Waste Management Divisions (EPWMD) check household waste segregation twice a week. Households are given written warnings and penalties for non-compliance.
• PhilAm produces about 600 kgs. Of compost per day that are sold to organic farmers of Cavite and Bulacan, vegetable and flower growers, and to residents. Yearly earnings amount to P300, 00.00 or more.
• The MRF also makes money through the sale of recyclables to its junk dealer every two weeks.
• The Ecology Center and MRF provide livelihood to 10 individuals.
• Early in 2000, the SWMC held regular demonstrations to acquaint homeowners with the new waste management system.
• Housewives and house helpers were trained in waste segregation.
• Billboards, fliers, and manuals were prepared and distributed.
• By 2005, 85% were complying with the kitchen waste collection system while 50% were turning over their recyclable wastes.
• A system for managing biodegradable and recyclable waste.
• Biodegradable waste is brought every morning to the MRF for composting.
• Recyclable waste is brought to the MRF every afternoon. A junk dealer collects the recyclables three time a week.
• Truck requirement was reduced by half.
• Only residual waste collected by the City Contracted Garbage Hauler.
To learn more about the community’s barangay-initiated waste management program, a visit to the area is recommended. The barangay captain could also be invited to talk about the how tos of a successful barangay waste management program.
About the author, Lingling Maranan-Claver
Lingling Maranan-Claver is a volunteer with the Zero Waste group of the Baguio We Want-- a citizens movement for a clean, livable and sustainable city.
She watches birds and writes during her spare time.
Casimira Ganding Montreal Canada Wed 13th July 2016
I am delighted to see embracing Mother Natures bounty our resources as organic as it is with the 3 E and concern citizens officials in the involvement of preserving and spearheading the essence useful value of our resources greeneries conservation of water implementation of good environment proper disposal of waste surely and hopefully will work in every city of our country
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