EMLM koica project backed pilot recycling system launched 600px 1FASPS Director Al Orolfo (leftmost) reacts to one of the statements made during the community dialogue.

The Foreign-Assisted and Special Projects Service (FASPS) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), together with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the City Government of Parañaque, launched the pilot recycling system Eco-Ikot Center (EIC) at the Materials Recovery Facility in Barangay San Isidro, Parañaque City.

Implemented by the Communities Organized for Resource Allocation (CORA), the Eco-Ikot Sustainable Cities Initiative is a joint undertaking among DENR-FASPS, KOICA, USAID, and Parañaque City in support of the Enhancement of Marine Litter Management in Manila Bay (EMLM) Project. CORA is a non-profit organization that focuses on creating sustainable programs to help solve global issues of hunger, poverty, inequality, and climate change through volunteerism, community, and inclusivity by empowering vulnerable citizens, women, and youth.

According to Barangay Captain Noel Japlos of San Isidro, this initiative contributed to his barangay being awarded the Seal of Good Governance.

The EIC implements an incentive system in which collected wastes are brought in for goods or e-Cash. At present, it is operated and managed by the Circular Economy Women Champion (CEWC) which was trained by CORA and USAID in solid waste management and on 3Rs (reduce, reuse, and recycle). Its operational setup consists of three stations: one for drop-off and weighing, the other for registration, and the third one for goods and e-Cash exchange.

EMLM koica project backed pilot recycling system launched 600px 2One of the stations - the registration station - of the EIC.

Considered a potentially high-impact innovative approach under the EMLM Project, the EIC provides a sustainable community-based solution to address the plastic pollution crisis by leveraging the economic incentives it provides to the community members. Moreover, it promotes awareness of proper solid waste management and circular economy, as well as positive behavior change in dealing with plastic pollution.

KOICA Country Director Kim Eunsub said that the activity coincided with the 30th Anniversary of KOICA in the Philippines, which he described as “three decades of impactful collaboration and development assistance.” He thanked USAID for the additional support for the EMLM Project and the strong partnership among stakeholders that resulted in the successful implementation of the EIC initiative in San Isidro.

FASPS Director Al Orolfo, who was one of the panelists in the community dialogue on waste management, circular economies, and community involvement, pointed out that everyone is connected in this “web of life”. He said that, because of this interconnectedness, the roles and practices of each individual or stakeholder, from the community up to the national level, shape effective solid waste management strategies.

Topping off the exhibit, community dialogue, and other side events was the symbolic launching of the two new EIC sites in Barangay San Dionisio in Parañaque City and Barangay 128 in the City of Manila. (FASPS)


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