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PIA Press Release
2009/10/17

Samal beefs up waste management program

Davao City (17 October) -- The Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS) is intensifying efforts to protect and preserve its coastal and marine water resources through a sound implementation of waste management programs while calling on other coastal communities in Mindanao to adopt proper waste disposal measures.

In a recent MINDPeace Media Forum here, IGaCoS City Administrator Cleto Bravo Gales Jr. said that waste management is one aspect in local governance that has always been overlooked because results are not immediately tangible or concrete unlike most of the island's other projects.

He said local governments units (LGUs) should concern about proper waste disposal as a priority measure to protect coastal and marine resources.

"As we all know, waste water is something that is very serious if not properly attended to," Gales said.

Without regulation, the same activities that provide economic boost to the city can lead to serious environmental consequences which affect the livelihoods of the local coastal communities in the island.

To address this, IGaCoS recently partnered with the Philippine Environmental Governance Project (EcoGov) and the Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP) as part of its Coastal and Marine Water Zone Plan (CMWZP).

The EcoGov Project is a collaborative effort of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

It mobilizes LGUs to form localized but strategic actions to reduce overfishing and the use of destructive fishing practices, reduce illegal logging and conversion of natural forests, and improve the management of solid wastes and wastewater.

The project has assisted IGaCoS in improving the management of its Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) since 2007 through resource assessment and is currently strengthening the Networking interventions of six out of 15 of the island's identified MPAs.

The partnership is also currently in the process of validating a system for the collection of environmental users' fees (EUF) which will be used to sustain several of IGaCoS' environmental initiatives including a wastewater management program that is being drafted.

Meanwhile, the Coastal Clean-up project being implemented under the Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP) also boosted Samal's coastal management efforts.

Assistant Secretary Romeo Montenegro of the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Mindanao (OPAMIN) noted the project's major accomplishments since it began in July this year.

The Coastal Clean-up Project's implementation has been completed in 9 of the 16 targeted municipalities across Region XI and covered a total of 900 beneficiaries along the coastlines of Davao Oriental, Compostella Valley and Davao del Sur.

"This also includes 50 Coastal Clean-up participants from 8 baranggays in IGaCoS," Montenegro said. He added that they are set to take in 50 more to cover additional barangays in the island.

CLEEP is part of the government's stimulus assistance to counteract the impact of the global economic slow down by providing livelihood opportunities to targeted coastal communities. The Project is also assisting the coastal communities in setting up a sustainable Clean-up program.

The project has also enhanced awareness among the coastal residents on proper waste management and disposal.

The media forum on waste management is part of the MINDPeace's monthly efforts to share peace and development stories on Mindanao.

The MINDPeace is a convergence of communication officers and representatives of donor-funded programs and projects striving to foster deeper understanding and facilitate transformation among communities for peace and development in Mindanao, through coordinated and integrated communication and advocacy efforts. (MEDCo) [top]

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