Foremost in the agreement is the reconstitution of the City Solid Waste Management Board (CSWMB) for the proper implementation of a Ten-Year Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan (ISWM) for the city. The three parties – LGU Cotabato City, DENR 12 and ECOGOV — agree to collaborate and combine their human, technical, material and financial resources to prepare, legitimize, approve and implement the 10-year ISWM Plan of Cotabato City.
Signing on behalf of the city government, Cotabato City Mayor Muslimin G. Sema said that “the project has been most awaited for,” and expressed hope that “it will serve the interest of the local government of Cotabato City,” particularly in the efforts “to address environmental problems in the city.”
Mayor Sema also expressed appreciation and gratefulness over the support of EcoGov and DENR 12 which was represented by Executive Director Jim O. Sampulna. In his message, Sampulna explained that environmental concerns usually breed up as population of any booming city, like Cotabato, grows. As such, “the littering and garbage should be taken cared of,” by means of “developing an Integrated Solid Waste Management Program,” Dir. Sampulna stressed.
He also introduced the idea of establishing a Management Recycling Facility (MRF) such as those in Tacurong and Koronadal Cities whose problem on garbage and solid waste was worse than Cotabato City before. Said facility, which requires a five-hectare lot, “will turn garbage into money,” he clarified with much optimism.
On the part of EcoGov, its Assisting Personnel Erwin D. Patricio underscored the commitment of their office in supporting the project until its completion. ECOGOV shall provide technical assistance package that may include training modules, cross visits, and practicum in the eventual adoption of the ISWM plan.
Witnessing the signing rites were DENR-ARMM Asec. Alindatu K. Pagayao, Renato B. Rivera of PENRO Kidapawan, representatives of CENRO Cotabato City and city department heads.
Early this year, the city government also signed a three-year contract of a P40- million worth waste management project with Accion Contra El Hambre and Handicap International-Philippines. The said project is bankrolled by the European Commission thru its Asia Pro-Eco Programme. (Cotabato City Public Information and Promotion Division)