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PIA Press Release

Sec. Ramos calls for all-out info drive on waste composting in rural areas

By Herzon F. Gallego

Butuan City (19 February) -- DENR Secretary Horacio C. Ramos has asked all his regional executive directors on Wednesday to intensify the information campaign on proper solid waste management in the countryside particularly on composting to encourage the people in producing organic fertilizers from biodegradable waste.

The move followed the call of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to all local mayors and barangay chairmen in Mindanao to start imposing their respective program on solid waste management as a measure to mitigate global climate change during her visit at the fishing town of Mainit, Surigao del Norte.

The President said that every barangay must have a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) center where people can bring waste materials that can be recycled and reused. She said bio-gradable waste, on the other hand, can be converted into organic fertilizers which can be used by farmers. "Mindanao is considered a bread basket," the President said. "The government under my administration, therefore, has poured in huge funds to provide infrastructure facilities to promote development particularly in agricultural sectors" she added.

The President in her remarks also cited the other major accomplishment such as the irrigation of 358,000 hectares of land, the development of Socorro Municipal Port in Surigao del Norte, the Surigao-Davao Coastal Road and the extension of loans to farmers amounting to P 161 billion, in which 60 percent of the amount benefited the farmers in Mindanao among others.

Secretary Ramos who came with the team of cabinet officials of President Arroyo on her continuing visit to the provinces said the President has specific instruction to the DENR specifically on the intensification of information campaign on proper solid waste management practices in the countryside so that people can follow the law.

Secretary Ramos was also accompanied by his senior staff including Undersecretary for Special Constituency and External Affairs Demetrio L. Igancio, Assistant Secretary for Field Operations-Mindanao Atty. Ernesto D. Adobo and Assistant Secretary for Field Operations-Visayas Jeremias L. Dolino.

Prior to the arrival of the President at the campus of the Surigao del Norte College of Agriculture and Technology in Mainit, Surigao del Norte aboard a presidential chopper, the DENR under Regional Executive Director Edilberto S. Buiser has conducted a lecture demonstration on waste composting through the "windross" or plot-type process. The DENR team of the Environment Management Bureau has explained to the students about the simple process of producing organic fertilizers from garden waste.

The DENR said that it takes about two months for the waste to decompose and produce organic fertilizers under the natural process.

Director Buiser has immediately set his team into actions as he issued instruction to all 4 PENR and 13 CENR officers in the regions to coordinate closely with the local government officials in their respective area of responsibility about putting up of material recovery facilities in every barangay.

Buiser also met Mayor Ramon B. Mondano of Mainit, Surigao del Norte to assist the local government unit on its request for shredder equipment shortly after the President left to the neighboring province of Surigao del Sur to inaugurate a road project at the remote town of Lingig.

Mayor Mondano said the LGU will sustain this waste management program in his area but the DENR should provide support to their request for such equipment and the construction of the material recovery facility. (DENR-13/PIA-Caraga) [top]

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