THE Asean working group on environmentally sustainable cities recognized Davao City as a "clean land" under the big city category.

Davao City is the lone city from the Philippines that will receive the recognition during the awarding ceremony tentatively scheduled on September 2014 in Laos, the host country for the 15th Iamme.

In a letter addressed to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte dated June 10, Demetrio L. Ignacio Jr., Asean chair and DENR undersecretary for field operations, said city was chosen by the Asean working group on environmentally sustainable cities during the meeting in Phuket, Thailand on May 17 to receive the certificate of recognition for Big City Clean Land.

"This year, the DENR as the Philippine representative to the Asean Working Group Sub-committee, nominated Davao City for Big City Category for Clean Land in recognition of its clean, green and well-preserved land," Ignacio said.

The other recipients for the big cities category awards are Tangerang, Indonesia (clean air), Phnom Penh, Cambodia (clean water) and Davao City, Philippines (clean land).

Meanwhile, the recipients for small cities are Da Lat City, Vietnam (clean air), Nakhon Sawan, Thailand (clean water) and Roi-et, Thailand (clean land).

Ignacio said a selection panel composed of representatives from 10 Asean Member States (AMS) convened to nominate and evaluate cities from these countries to determine which qualifies for the Asean Environmentally Sustain Cities (ESC) Award and for Certificate of Recognition for Big and Small Cities using clean air, clean water, and clean land indicators.

This is done every three years since 2008.

The merits of all nominees are then reviewed and deliberated on by the Asean working group of ESC according to the set criteria after which it selects the awardees, the letter reads.

City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) office-in-charge Engineer Liza Madrazo recalled a group of evaluators came in the city six months ago "without giving any notice" to the local government of Davao.

"And this is the result. We are very proud of this," Madrazo said.

"Hopefully we will be able to sustain," she added.

Madrazo said the city will continue with its projects and programs for the preservation of a clean and green Davao City through its greening program, reforestation program, proper solid waste management program and pollution control program.