The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) awarded Villar Sipag, the foundation built by the family of Senator Cynthia A. Villar, for its dedication, continuous support and esteemed contributions towards a cleaner, healthier and greener environment.
The awarding ceremonies was held during the agency’s Environmental Summit and Exhibit 2022 on July 14, 2022 at the Manila Hotel.
In her keynote message, Villar thanked the DENR for the award and vowed to continue cultivating awareness and encouraging the engagement of stakeholders to reduce and properly manage waste.
“We appreciate the recognition because it validates our commitment that we are doing something right for the environment and we are looking forward for other communities to follow our lead,” Villar said during the summit with the theme “Strengthening Waste Management for a Healthier Environment.”
The lady lawmaker also lauded the organizers for highlighting in this event the solid waste management best practices that might be replicated by local government units (LGUs), communities and private entities nationwide.
For the past several years, Villar related that she and Villar Sipag have established barangay-based livelihood enterprises that are models of proper waste management and good examples of how garbage could be turned into useful end-products.
“The raw materials we use in the livelihood projects are from wastes,” noted Villar, a staunch environmentalist known for her recycling efforts in her waste management drive.
She enumerated the materials use as water hyacinths for the waterlily handicraft-weaving enterprise and the handmade paper factory, waste coconut husks for the coconut-weaving enterprise and the charcoal-making factory, kitchen and garden wastes for the organic fertilizer composting facility, and plastic wastes for the waste plastic recycling factory that produces school chairs.
The senator extolled these livelihood projects, now numbering over 3,000 nationwide, have been replicated by other organizations.
In her message, the senator also highlighted composting, which she spearheaded in her home city in Las Pinas.
Villar emphasized that composting which solves problems like pollution from garbage, soil degradation and food wastes, complies with Republic Act (RA) 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, and RA 10068, or the Organic Agriculture Act, which she championed.
“We have 67 composters spread out in 20 barangays in the city, which are utilized by 70,000 households, and produce 70 tons of organic fertilizers monthly. In turn, these organic fertilizers are being distributed to towns so their farmers may no longer need to buy fertilizers,” she said.
As chairperson of the Senate committee on environment, natural resources and climate change, Villar authored and worked hard for the passage of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Act of 2022.
“The bill institutionalizes the extended producer responsibility on plastic packaging waste, amending “Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.”
The EPR legislation, she asserted, is an answer to the clamor for us to do something with our overwhelming plastic wastes.
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