After attending a seminar by Mother Earth Foundation (MEF), local officials of Oracon in Guimaras gathered residents and volunteers to construct their own MRF and start the implementation of Ecological Solid Waste Management in the barangay. In the process, they became the first barangay in the province to be compliant to Section 32 of Republic Act 9003 which states that “There shall be established a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in every barangay or cluster of barangays.”
To further encourage the residents to participate in the project, the barangay will also implement the “Basura mo, Palit Grocery” Project , a strategy they also learned in the seminar. In this project, residents will earn points every time they bring segregated wastes to the MRF. The said points can be used to redeem basic household items like rice, sugar, sardines and soap, among others. Initial funding was provided by Add Up! Volunteers, the same group who sponsored the first seminar conducted my MEF in the province.
So what motivates them to action?
“We are very thankful to MEF for making us aware of our responsibilities as barangay officials under RA 9003,” said Brgy. Captain Soccoro Gaquit. She also added, “In the seminar, we were able to realize that we have to manage our wastes not only because it is mandated by law, but more so because we have to do it for the environment and for future generations.”
During the open forum, one participant to the seminar mentioned that though they have not heard of climate change before, they have noticed the difference between now and when they were young. They have also seen its effects, as their livelihood have suffered from more frequent and more devastating storms or prolonged droughts.
Kagawad Ninfa Grate also gave another reason. “Aside from mitigating the effects of climate change, one reason that also encourages us to push this project is the opportunity of be a pioneer in waste management in the province. Hopefully, when we have shown that it is possible, others around us will soon follow.”
“The recognition given by the municipality and the province of all our efforts is just a bonus,” she added.