The Department of Science and Technology in Region 9 (DOST-9) has released PHP5.5-million assistance to upgrade the solid waste management (SWM) program of three municipalities in the province of Zamboanga del Norte.
Merilyn Cadag, Zamboanga del Norte Science and Technology director, identified the beneficiaries Tuesday as Katipunan, Leon Postigo, and Tampilisan municipalities.
Cadag said the assistance, funded through the DOST’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP), aims to help the three towns acquire the appropriate technologies needed to improve their SWM program.
SETUP is a flagship program of the DOST that provides innovation funds and technical support to small and medium enterprises and local government units (LGUs).
Cadag said the technologies include bioreactor, plastic densifier, and shredder, which are all developed by DOST’s Industrial Technology Development Institute (DOST-ITDI).
Cadag said the bioreactor converts biodegradable waste into organic compost, which can be used as a soil conditioner for urban gardening or farming.
She said the plastic densifier processes non-biodegradable waste such as plastic cellophane and Styrofoam into usable flower pots and decorative blocks.
She said the introduction of such technologies supports the effective implementation of the SWM program by LGUs in compliance with Republic Act 9003, otherwise known as Ecological Solid Waste Management of 2000.
In Zamboanga del Norte, Cadag said the adoption of the technologies has been considered as one of the best practices of LGUs.
Engr. John Fuerzas, Sergio Osmeña municipal environment, and natural resources officer (MENRO) said the assistance has enabled them to convert waste materials into compost for the use of farmers.
Fuerzas said they are currently producing 100 bags of compost monthly. They also distribute it to flower growers.
Engr. Roger Ladera of Polanco town said they regularly distribute compost to some 200 farmers, who receive an average of 150 kilos of organic fertilizer.
Cadag said the SWM projects in Sergio Osmeña and Polanco were funded in 2019 and 2018, respectively.
Cadag said that at present, the DOST regional office, through the Zamboanga del Norte Provincial Science and Technology Center, has assisted a total of nine towns in the province, with a total amount of funding assistance reaching more than PHP15 million. (PNA)