Local recycling Tzu Chi volunteers in Ormoc City were invited to give a talk on Solid Waste Management during the General Assembly Meeting of the city’s village heads on March 27. Chieftains of Ormoc City’s 110 villages attended the assembly as well as the city mayor Richard Gomez. It was held at the Liga Hall in Ormoc City.
The invitation for the Tzu Chi volunteers came a few days after the foundation and the local government of Ormoc signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA), officially allowing Tzu Chi volunteers to educate the residents about recycling as well as collect recyclable materials across the city.
Tzu Chi volunteer Juanito Suco Jr., who is in-charge of Tzu Chi’s recycling efforts in Ormoc, seized the opportunity to also talk about Tzu Chi’s Environmental Protection Program.
“I explained to them how we do recycling in Ormoc City. The other barangays are already aware of recycling since we continuously visit them to promote recycling,” says Suco.
During his talk, Suco reminded the village chiefs not to throw away plastic bottles or recyclable materials as these can still be made into useful items again. “I showed them that we can make folders out of bottle caps, while PET bottles can become clothes, caps, blanket or folding beds so they got curious and interested with it,” Suco says, pertaining to a modern technology being employed by Tzu Chi’s headquarters in Taiwan.
While the Philippine chapter of Tzu Chi may not have the same technology, the proceeds from selling collected recyclables fund the foundation’s charity programs, relief operations, medical missions, and scholarship grants.
Captain Pedro Pepito of Barangay Dolores thanked Tzu Chi for launching the program in Ormoc.
“This will contribute positively to our solid waste management and to the whole environment. I, myself, will volunteer to help in the advocacy,” he says.
Pedro also lauded the volunteers who took the advocacy to heart. “It’s a commendable activity or action of the volunteers. I hope that they will continue to do this great program because they are not only helping in recycling collection to produce new items but, most especially, they help people and the environment,” he says.
This was echoed by Barangay Liloan captain Cheryl Batucan, 56.“I’m happy that they are doing this here in Ormoc City. It will help the city government with the issues of garbage collection and of course, it will lessen the garbage in the city,” Batucan says.
In support of Tzu Chi’s recycling program, Captain Batucan conducts a monthly Barangay cleaning and recycling collection as well.
“I’m grateful to the management of Tzu Chi for initiating this kind of program. We can support in collecting recyclables like PET bottles to also help the environment,” she says. “Just today it’s been confirmed that only residual waste shall be collected by the garbage truck while the recyclables will be donated to Tzu Chi.”
Ormocanons show support in Recycling
Recycling would not be possible without the generous hearts of both donors and the Tzu Chi volunteers who go to every house to encourage them to recycle.
33-year-old Cristine Palacio of District 4 in Ormoc City shows her support to the recycling program by segregating cans and other recyclables. She gets her recyclables from the cans she used for selling ice candy.
Amazingly, the Tzu Chi volunteers saw how clean and organize her collection of cans, though there were recent cans that have not been cleaned yet. Her collections of cans and other recyclables show love and support to Tzu Chi.
“In recycling one must segregate first bottles from cans so that it could be utilize or sold,” she shares.
Tzu Chi volunteer Ophelia Ofredo, 36, tells how cooperative and very accommodating the homeowners are during the recycling promotion and collection on March 22.
“The people here cooperates with us and some of them in District 4 also donated recyclables like cans and PET bottles, so we collected them, “she shares.
She also mentions some importance of recycling and how it can contribute to the protection of the community and the environment. “Instead of disposing garbage to the river or ditch, let us learn to recycle for it could help produce products from plastics like folding bed, uniform and blankets especially it can be funded to the charity programs of Tzu Chi,” she states.
Tzu Chi volunteer David Lumacang, 58, finds the project a pleasant work despite being tiring.
“For me its pleasant work and the people are all supportive with the project of Tzu Chi even the Barangay captain and also the Barangay councillor welcome us in their Barangay,” he says.
To Lumacang, the program not only helps the environment but also develops the personality and confidence of the volunteers.
“Before, we were shy and fearful that we may encounter grumpy home owners and does not cooperate with us. Now they are more curious and interested with the recycling project,” says David.
“The fear and shyness that we felt before were all gone and it developed into hope and determination in educating and explaining to the people the importance of Tzu Chi’s Recycling project and how it can save the environment,” he end
33 year-old resident of District 4, Cristine Palacio explains to the Tzu Chi volunteer that she started segregating cans and cleans them before storing in a sack to support the recycling program. 【Photo by Jeane Marie Faminogan】
Tzu Chi volunteer David Lumacang educates a resident in District 17 on the significance of the Recycling Project to the environment. 【Photo by Jeane Marie Faminogan】
Tzu Chi volunteer Ophelia Ofredo gives some details about the Recycling Project to the Barangay captain in district 17. 【Photo by Jeane Marie Faminogan】