GMA visits Kidapawan waste recovery facility, attends peace dialogue

With her were Secretary Heherson Alvarez, presidential adviser on global warming and climate change, and  Environment Undersecretary Manny Geroche, who after the site visit held a 30-minute briefing on solid waste management.

She did not deliver a speech during her visit to the facility but told other local officials to follow the lead of the city government. "This is not only a big help to the city but to the solid waste management program itself of the city," she SAID.

The Material Recovery Facility serves as composting plant for degradable waste, according to City Mayor Rodolfo Gantuangco.

"The facility can process up to 10 tons of degradable waste into soil conditioner or humus, about 20 bags per day of organic fertilizer," Gantuangco told the President.

The plant, which started operating February 9 last year, has been supporting the agriculture sector, especially the fruit industry, by producing organic fertilizer.

One of the buyers of the organic fertilizer produced by the facility was the Cotabato Sugar Central Company in nearby Matalam town, also in North Cotabato, according to Joel Saladan, section head of the Material Recovery Facility.

The compost products weigh 50 kilos per bag and are sold at P3 per kilo for Kidapawan City buyers, and P4 per kilo if buyers are from outside the city.

With its income, the project has helped reduce the local government's subsidy for solid waste management services, Gantuangco told the President.

Alvarez, during the briefing, said the country and the whole world are threatened by global warming.   "This is why we're on war footing, a war against global warming.   To fight global warming, we must improve our solid waste management and pursue other environment measures," he said.

Immediately after the briefing on environment issues, the President and her cabinet proceeded to the Amas capitol complex' second floor where a dialogue on peace was held.  The MILF-GRP peace talks was one of the topics.

Behind closed doors, the President met with Cotabato Vice-Governor Manny Pinol who, in August 2008, led the filing of a petition at the Supreme Court for a temporary restraining order (TRO) to stop the government from signing memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)