April 15, 2024

Solid Waste Management City-wide Practices

Filed under: River Rehabilitation Programs & Social Enterprises in Las Piñas City,Uncategorized — Joshua Sarmiento @ 3:35 pm

“The hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain; but Moab will be trampled under him as straw is trampled down in the manure”;

Composting used to be a widespread practice. Until the early 1900 , it was estimated that 90% of the fertilizer used in the United States came from compost.

In 1913, the German company BASF (BadischeAnilin- & Soda-Fabrik) started operating the world’s first ammonia synthesis plant to produce synthetic nitrogen compounds, including fertilizers. These new chemical fertilizers were produced quicker than messy animal manure compost.

Productivity soared to levels unheard of in the past, and the farmyard compost pile quickly became a thing of the past. By 1950, it was estimated that only 1% of the fertilizer used in the United States was derived from compost.

In 1962, Rachel Carson, an American marine biologist wrote the popular book Silent Spring. In the book she pointed out that technological progress is so fundamentally at odds with natural processes that it must be curtailed. She ushered in a new public awareness that nature was vulnerable to human intervention.

The consciousness and the need to regulate industry in order to protect the environment became widely accepted.

Environmentalism was born.

In the Philippines, the environmentalism philosophy of Manny and Cynthia Villar is anchored on the need to continually seek sustainable solutions which are always linked towards other objectives such as providing more jobs to the poor, saving money of the city government, building organizations, and creating synergy with other sectors.

It is an environmentalism that transcends middle-class notions of having a healthier lifestyle and being ecologically friendly.

Household Waste Segregation

When the Congresswoman Cynthia Villar sought to produce compost on a city-wide scale, it was met with opposition.

As in many enterprises which require social mobilization, there was resistance from the people.

To encourage their participation, the Congresswoman Villar dangled the incentive of investing in the rotary composter and the building to house the composting facility if the homeowner’s association or barangay would counterpart a suitable lot of around 36 square meters.

Of the twenty-barangay leaders, five leaders readily committed themselves to the program. Seventy-five percent (75%) of the leaders did not want to join.

Unfazed by the rejection, the Congresswoman took the time out to sit down in dialogue with each and every barangay to answer all of their apprehensions and concerns.

Segregating garbage required a house to house education campaign by the different associations. Where to bring the segregated garbage became the primary responsibility of the City government.

From this segregation, the biodegradable waste would be turned into compost.

Composting Practices

Barangay Bio-digesters
To complement the regular collection efforts of the City’s garbage trucks, “bio-men” conduct a door-to-door collection of the household wet garbage.The “bio-men” are part-time workers under the barangay payroll.

The wet garbage collected would pass through a mechanical presser present in every composting facility. The wet garbage wouldbe pressed to remove the liquid content or the leachate.

The leachate then enters an enclosed container. In this container further anaerobic digestion occurs. From the bacteria, methane is produced which is the source of bio-gas.

Besides the kitchen wastes of the households, coco peat is added into the compost mix.

A composting machine is able to produce 1,000 kilos or one (1) ton of compost per month. Today, there are a total of forty seven (47) rotary composters operating in twenty nine (29) composting centers, providing livelihood to 141 families.

Presently, the total average compost output of Las Piñas is forty seven (47) tons per month. The goal is to have a total of 100 composting centers spread throughout the city by 2013.

Part of this compost is used for the re-greening and tree-planting program in Las Piñas.

Farmers from nearby provinces purchase the rest of the compost to produce organic vegetables in their provincial farms. The income derived from the sale of the compost reverts back to the barangay and the subdivision housing associations to support their environmental activities.

 Use of Vermiculture
Another type of waste in the city is garden waste such as yard trimmings, dead branches, and plants. These are collected separately and brought to the vermi composting facilities.Vermi composting is the process of using worms to process organic waste into nutrient-rich soil. The production of organic fertilizer through vermi composting is now carried out in eleven (11) centers in eleven (11) barangays, with a total monthly production of 5,500 kilos or 6.1 tons

Barangay Recycling Day
A monthly Barangay Recycling Day was initiated in August 2010 by newly-elected congressman Mark Villar. The event is like a trade fair but instead of having booths where products are sold, owners and operators of MRS or junk yards buy recyclables such as old newspapers and magazines, plastic bottles, and empty tin cans from the homeowners.

This project has further reduced the volume of garbage that the city government has to collect.

Transforming Non -biodegradables into construction materials The materials that remain after the process of waste treatment – like agricultural, urban, industrial or mining – are called residual waste. In the domestic setting, residual waste pertains to household trash that cannot be recycled, re-used, or composted.

Residual waste in Las Piñas is used in the manufacture of construction materials such as hollow blocks and pavers. The non-biodegradables and non-recyclables are collected and processed through a pulverizing machine, which produces pellets that are mixed with cement. This mixture is molded into the desired shapes of blocks and pavers.

 These City-wide practices in solid waste management have helped to simultaneously achieve multiple objectives :

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Mission Statement

Filed under: River Rehabilitation Programs & Social Enterprises in Las Piñas City,Uncategorized — Joshua Sarmiento @ 3:33 pm

Villar SIPAG is committed to the preservation and conservation of the environment and ensuring the sustainability of its environmental programs through the establishment of social enterprises that will lead the path towards economic independence for every Filipino.

Components for Saving the Las Piñas-Zapote River

Engineering Solutions

Fielding of Dredgers and Dump Trucks Accumulated garbage reduced the holding capacity of the Las Piñas-Zapote Rivers to absorb rainfall, thus causing its tributaries to overflow into the residential areas. Even a small amount of rainfall used to cause flooding in many parts of Las Piñas. The first logical solution then was to increase the depth of the river.

Dredging the river requires heavy equipment. Through the donations of Senator Manny Villar, Sagip Ilog is currently able to mobilize three backhoes-on-barges for the main river, two small backhoes for diversion creeks, three speedboats, three tugboats, two rubber boats with motors, and four dump trucks.

The initial dredging operations uncovered plastic bags, plastic bottles, soda cans, and other non-biodegradable materials that had been stacked up one overthe other through the years. The dredging operation accelerated the outflow of the water, greatly reducing the backflow and the incidence of flooding.

Installing Floating Waste Strainers

To make the clearing more efficient, five waste strainers were constructed to intercept floating debris at specific junctions in the river. The river strainers intercept floating garbage before they sink and form part of the bottom trash.

The garbage that are intercepted are scooped out daily by the men posted on the intercepts. The intercepts are designed to allow the cleaners to walk across the entire span of the strainer and scoop out the floating garbage. This is a cost-effective measure because getting the trash at the bottom required the use of heavy machinery which were expensive to operate. It is likewise more efficient to collect the garbage at specific points of the river rather than trying to chase it downstream.

Social Mobilization

Transforming Mind-sets, Habits and Cultural Traits


With the gains from the engineering solutions, the Sagip Ilog team had to face a bigger challenge: changing the attitude and habits of the residents.

It seemed foolish to be pulling out garbage from the river if people constantly threw garbage in. Cleaning the river on a long haul basis required more than the availability of equipment, it needs the involvement and active participation of the people.

An education program was launched to explain to the residents a simple input-output model: if people dump less in the river, there would be less to clean. Experience, however, proved that this was easier said than done.

Providing the people basic knowledge about improper waste disposal needed to go hand-in-hand with a change in their attitude towards the importance of caring for the rivers and their surroundings. This necessitated community organizing. Seeing the seriousness of the Sagip Ilog team’s effort, several civic organizations volunteered to assist in the education of the people and in community organizing.

One of the partners were the volunteers from the Couples for Christ-OIKOS who shared their time and effort in generating awareness, interest and participation in the Sagip Ilog Program.

In August 2004, seven couples from the CFC-OIKOS committed to conduct values formation and solid waste management education to the people living along and near the riverbanks. For more than five years, they went to the communities in these areas ensuring that after the initial learning sessions were completed, the necessary further encouragement and constant reminders were given to minimize any backsliding of the residents to their old ways of wanton waste dumping.

Another organization that partnered with the office of Congresswoman Villar in its endeavor to save the Las Piñas-Zapote Rivers is the Zero Waste Recycling Movement of the Philippines, Inc. (ZWRMPF, Inc.). ZWRMPF, Inc. educates people about zero waste management (ZWM), which is now embodied in Republic Act No. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2001. Signed into law on January 26, 2001, RA 9003 sets guidelines and targets for solid waste avoidance and volume reduction through source reduction and waste minimization measures, including composting, recycling, re-use, recovery, and green charcoal process before collection, treatment, and disposal in appropriate and environmentally sound solid waste management facilities. The law mandates local government units (LGUs) to set up an ecology center in every barangay and segregation of wastes. It further specifically prohibits open burning and open dumpsites.

By conducting Zero Waste Management Training for the city government employees, barangay leaders, public school faculty members and administrators, and the residents, the technology became more widespread.

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Linkages for Sustainability

Filed under: River Rehabilitation Programs & Social Enterprises in Las Piñas City,Uncategorized — Joshua Sarmiento @ 3:33 pm

A Metro Bambusetum as a Living Museum Park
Since the City has been renowned for the Bamboo organ, Congresswoman Cynthia Villar felt a living museum called a Bambusetum would be a good accompanying tourist destination. On July 27, 2005, she inaugurated the project and planted one of the first bamboo plants.

The Bambusetum is a protected area wherein different varieties of bamboo are grown and showcased.

No other city in the metropolis can boast of having a Bambusetum with different varieties growing along the riverbanks from the exotic “black” bamboo to the Japanese dwarf varieties.

As such, the place has turned into a favorite destination for students to have a picnic, appreciate nature, and value the river.

The Bambusetum serves to further educate the next generation on the importance of the environment, and how interdependent

This efficiency earned Las Piñas the “Clean and Green Hall of Fame” Award.

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April 12, 2024

Bulwagang Ezekiel Moreno

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jomar Balasbas @ 6:58 pm

Few towns in the Philippines can boast of their former parish priest being recognized with the highest honor that the Roman Catholic Church can bestow. Las Piñas has Father Ezekiel Moreno.

Canonized on October 11, 1992, St. Ezekiel Moreno served as parish curate of Las Piñas from July 1876 to mid-1879. The small pox epidemic in 1876, drought and crop failures in 1876 and 1878, and the devastating fire of 1879 were trials that brought out the best in St. Ezekiel. His care and concern for his parishioners endeared him to the people.

In his honor, the Congresswoman Villar built the Bulwagan Padre Ezekiel Moreno. The Bulwagan serves as an exhibit hall showcasing old photographs and artifacts of Las Piñas. The hall also serves as a
venue for various cultural and social events. A People’s Park sits atop the hall where residents can stroll or sit back and relax.

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Religious Grants

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jomar Balasbas @ 11:55 am

Religious Grants Villar SIPAG extends grants to religious organizations across the country to support their various projects that promote the over-all wellbeing of their members. These grants are generally utilized for the construction, repair or renovation of places of worship; and other religious activities such as educational missions, ministers’ assemblies, and ordinations.

Some of the projects of the foundation are run in partnership with churches and religious organizations, like the feeding program and medical missions.

Villar Sipag
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