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Encouraging students to save the environment Through National Eco-savers Program

Manila, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Education (DepEd), and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) have launched the National Eco-savers Program (NEP) to encourage students to manage their waste by sorting and minimizing the generation of garbage in their homes through some form of incentive. They will get something useful, such as school supplies or cash, in exchange for recyclables they turn in or donate to their schools. The recyclables will then be pooled for final collection by accredited junk shops or recyclers.

The program will initially be implemented in 763 public elementary and high schools in the National Capital Region (NCR), concerning some 1.9 million students. The program also enjoins schools to make their own compost from biodegradable wastes, which could then be used as a fertilizer for seedling produced and nurtured under the National Greening Program (NGP).

The DENR has committed a R50-million funding for the initial implementation of the project in Metro Manila, where garbage generation stands at 8,000 tons per day. Of this total, half is composed of food and other organics, a fourth is composed of plastic materials, while 12 percent is paper. The balance consists of metals (5%), glass (3%), special and hazardous waste (1%), and residuals (4%).

The partnership was formalized earlier in June, when a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed by the DENR, DepEd, MMDA, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the non-government Galing Pook Foundation (GPF). The DENR will take the lead in the provision of technical, monitoring, and funding support, with the DepEd handling the training of principals and teachers on the implementation of the program. The DILG and MMDA will take the lead in the collection of processed garbage materials in coordination with accredited recycling firms and junk shops.

We congratulate the Department of Environment and Natural Resources headed by Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje, the Department of Education headed by Secretary Armin A. Luistro, the Metro Manila Development Authority headed by Chairman Francisco N. Tolentino, the Department of the Interior and Local Government headed by Secretary Manuel A. Roxas II, and the Galing Pook Foundation headed by its Executive Director Eddie G. Dorotan on their joint efforts to reduce the country’s solid waste and maintain a healthy environment through the National Eco-savers Program. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!

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