THE Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has enjoined communities around the Subic Bay Freeport to participate in its recyclable collection project to minimize the release of wastes into the environment and help raise funds for resource conservation.
SBMA senior deputy administrator for operations Ramon Agregado said during the 5th Recyclables Collection Event (RCE) here on Thursday, November 15, that gathering recyclable wastes is the flipside of SBMA efforts to clean up the coastline and waters of Subic Bay, which is acknowledged as the lifeblood of both tourism and trade in the greater Subic Bay area.
“We should not only endeavor to make this Recyclable Collection Event a periodic institutional activity, but we should strive to make it something bigger that will also encompass the neighboring localities of Olongapo, Zambales and Bataan,” Agregado said.
“This war on waste should not be an exclusive mandate for the SBMA; it should, instead, be a communal effort on the part of various stakeholders in the Subic area so that we can produce more significant results,” he added.
Agregado admitted that since attending the RCE last year, he began to collect recyclable plastics in preparation for this year’s event. “If this activity affected me and encouraged me to collect recyclable trash, I hope others would also realize that we need to help save the environment in our own small way,” he added.
SBMA’s recyclables collection project is part of the agency’s bigger “War on Waste” program, which has recently included an anti-littering campaign and a ban on the use of single-use plastics in SBMA workplaces.
SBMA Ecology Center manager Ameth Dela Llana said the RCE is undertaken in partnership with Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and in cooperation with the Bureau of Customs, as well as various treatment, storage and disposal (TSD) facilities like VAG General Merchandising in Pampanga, Genetron International Marketing, Evergreen Environmental Resources, Inc., and Semi-Recycling Joechem in Bulacan.
In Thursday’s collection event, the SBMA also presented tokens of appreciation to 10 companies inside the Subic Freeport, which delivered the biggest volume of recyclable trash during the 4th RCE. These are Hanjin Heavy Industries Company (Phils.), Subic Water and Sewerage Co., Nidec Subic, PTT Phils. Corp., Subic Track, Koryo Subic, SGS Subic Bay, Petron Freeport Corp., Subic Bay International Terminal Corp., and Jack Electronics Corporation.
The recyclables brought in by the participating firms, as well as community groups and households, are paid for by recyclers. In some cases, the firms pay for the trash brought in for treatment and subsequent disposal.
Dela Llana said that the SBMA collection program generated proceeds amounting P137,000 last year. During the 3rd RCE in 2016, the proceeds reached P230,000.
She said the cash proceeds are turned over to the ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, which funds the “Bantay Kalikasan” organization that promotes healthy environment for children, and helps communities earn revenue from protecting and turning their natural environment to tourism destinations.
The 5th RCE was held at an open space near the Boardwalk Activity Center here, drawing business locators and residents from both Subic Freeport and Olongapo City to bring in their solid, hazardous, and electronic wastes to either sell or donate.
During the event, some volunteers also took the time to teach the public techniques in making decorations out of wastes like plastic bottles, straw and food wrappers. (Ric Sapnu)