CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Two-year champion Barangay Maimpis again bested other contenders from this city's 35 villages, making it the first hall of fame awardee in the waste segregation and solid waste management.

Maimpis topped barangays Telebastagan and Sta. Lucia in the large population category, while Barangay Alasas was best in the small population category, with the villages of Dela Paz Sur and Juliana in the second and third places respectively during the search for model the community on ecological solid waste management program held at Heroes Hall last Thursday.

According to Environment and Natural Resources officer Engr. Anelle David, San Fernando is one of the local government units that strictly comply with R.A. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

“By complying with this law, we are able to divert our waste to 59 percent biodegradable materials from a mere of 12 percent back in 2002, and this was made possible through the participation of our barangays, thus we are recognizing their efforts,” said David.

She noted that having a material recovery facility or MRF is one of the major criteria in judging the winners.

For his part, Mayor Edwin Santiago said that his administration prioritizes programs that promote environmental protection such as waste segregation.

“I am happy to know that down to the barangay level, we are able to instill in the minds of Fernandinos the importance of taking care of our environment” said Santiago, underscoring the activity is an example of citizen participation in government.

“Garbage is a major concern for all of us, even in foreign countries, the only way to solve this is if we [government officials] empower stakeholders to help us solve this problem,” he added.

He disclosed that the city government is providing as much as P150,000 to its barangays as subsidy for the construction of an MRF.

Cash prizes were also given to winners, P15,000 for the first place, P10,000 for the second place and P5,000 for the third place.

“This is additional assistance for the maintenance of their MRF,” said Santiago.