DENR adopts Argao as eco-town pilot

By: PR October 13,2016 - 01:58 PM


The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has adopted the municipality of Argao in southern Cebu as pilot eco-town in solid waste management program.

“Among nakita ang Argao nga grabe ka-committed gikan sa mayor ngadto sa barangay. Daku na gyud ang iyang nahimo sama niining environmental summit (We have seen that Argao is very committed from the mayor down to the barangay. It has achieved many things like this environmental summit),” said Rechale Ybañez, senior environmental management specialist and focal person of Regional Ecology Center of DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-7).

In an interview during the first-ever Environmental Summit held last week at the town’s training center, Ybañez said the leadership of Mayor Stanley Caminero is willing to take the challenge.

A total of 300 people participated in the summit that was initiated by the mayor.
They represented 45 barangays, the government, academe, business sector, religious sector, resort owners and transport sector, among others.

According to Ybañez, Argao by its doings has emerged as pilot eco-town for Luzon and Visayas and has the full support of DENR Undersecretary Isabelo Montejo, who is an Argaoanon.

Caminero, a surgeon by profession, has implemented a program called, “Doers of Change (DOC),” starting with the market vendors and tricycle drivers wherein these sectors initiated the full implementation of the following laws: no smoking, no littering and traffic rules and road courtesy.

As part of the change, the mayor conceptualized the summit to involve all sectors in the town’s green program.

“There is a problem, and the people is part of the solution,” said Caminero.

Vice Mayor Allan Sesaldo, for his part, said they will legislate for the needed funds.

Ybañez said they have allotted a budget of P300,000 for the construction of a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) for the clustered barangays and will continue to provide Argao the technical assistance. He added that they will facilitate grants and help implement the “Adopt a Barangay” program “and help access grants for the barangays from the Philippine Environmental Foundation.

Meanwhile, Engr. Elisa Madrazo, head of Cenro-Davao, said they are also working for a partnership with Argao to replicate their experience in terms of Green governance.

Madrazo shared during the summit the Davao experience and how it took them five years before the residents adopted it as a way of life.

On the other hand, former San Francisco, Camotes mayor and now member of UN Committee on Resiliency of Cities Alfredo Arquillano Jr. expressed optimism that Argao can duplicate their success.

“With the dedication of the mayor and the inclusion of all sectors, there is no reason why Argao can’t do it,” said Arquillano, one of the speakers of the summit.

The summit culminated with the participants signing their signatures on the commitment wall.

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TAGS: Argao, DENR, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, EMB-7, Environmental Management Bureau, solid waste

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