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Legazpi to implement first Japanese program to reduce plastic on seas

By Cet Dematera

LEGAZPI CITY-The city government here was the first to develop and adopt a City Local Action Plan on Marine Litter (CPOA-ML) 2021-2025 as part of the major requirements for the implementation of the Japanese program dubbed “Healthy Ocean and Clean Cities Initiatives (HOCCI) facilitated by the United Nation Uman Settlement Program (UN-Habitat) Philippines.


Legazpi City Mayor Geraldine Rosal in an interview on Wednesday, said that city will implement the marine plastic litter abatement (MPLA) initiative: integrating economic incentives and smart waste management solutions to promote reduce, reuse, and recycle (3Rs) these materials.


The pilot project aims to improve resource efficiency through the avoidance, reduction and diversion on plastic waste by 35 percent or 2,357 tons of plastic per year by the end of December 2025.


“I am very grateful that Legazpi City has been chosen by the UN-habitat as one of the recipient cities across the country for HOCCI project that reduce plastic and other waste materials in the ocean,” Rosal added.


The other recipients of the project are the cities of Calapan, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Manila and Ormoc.


Rosal urged barangay officials to always inform their constituents for the “No segregation no collection policy” as part of the implementation of the city’s environmental ordinance in order to maintain the cleanliness of the surroundings to make sure the communities will have health environment.


“Through the HOCCI project the Office of Environment and Natural Resources (OCENR) will conduct seminars participated by the barangays to inform them on how to implement the 3Rs as the main goal of the project which aims to improve resource efficiency through the avoidance, reduction and diversion on plastic waste,” Rosal said.


She added that she will ask all the Punong Barangays to inform their constituents in their own respective areas to remind them that throwing plastics and garbage on the river banks is prohibited as mandated by the environmental law.


OCENR Health and Safety Officer Engineer Neil Careo, on the other hand, said that the city government and the UN-habitat signed already a memorandum of cooperation regarding the implementation of the HOCCI project.


Careo added that the UN-habitat had pledged to release grant of US$ 150,000 or P7.5 million to the City Government of Legazpi for the implementation of the project.


“We are expecting next week to download to the city government the first tranche of the budget amounting to P1.5 million or 20 percent of the total grant as an initial funding for the project,” Careo said.


He added that they selected the villages of Dap-dap and Penaranda as the main areas that would implement the social enterprise development by adopting the 3Rs in order to give their constituents additional livelihood opportunities.


“These two barangays have created already community based organizations composed of marginalized sectors including waste pickers or eco aide and single mothers so they recycle plastics as their materials for their livelihood projects,” Careo said.


He added the community based group of barangay Penaranda was named Eco Negosyo Association will be using plastic bottles to be converted into eco pots as their products that they can sell to the market.


While Barangay Dap-dap, Careo said, will use tarpaulins as their materials for making eco bags as their products.


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