1st ever dumpsite in PH now an ecopark

CEBU, Jan. 25 (PIA) -- The former 10-hectare dumpsite located at Brgy. Umapad, Mandaue City is the first-ever dumpsite in the country to be turned into an ecological park, with one hectare of land dedicated to a container-based organic vegetable garden.

During the Network Briefing program with Presidential Communications Operations Office Sec. Martin Andanar, Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes said being a first-term mayor in 2007, he wanted "to implement a change in the mindset of the Mandauehanons and one of which is to manage our dumpsite".

"During my first term in 2007, pinalabas 'yung Republic Act 9003 otherwise known as the Solid Waste Management Act of 2000. It is clearly stated that an open dumpsite is banned and, to be frank, Mandaue City was one of the violators," he added.

In an effort to improve environmental sustainability, Cortes in 2013 spearheaded the rehabilitation of the 10-hectare dumpsite into a clean, green, and habitable area now called as Mandaue Green Learning Park.

"After finally closing it, ginawa naming (we made it into an) ecological learning park wherein we planted vegetables, ornamentals and using biodegradable compost," the mayor said.

However, residents who relied on scavenging as their livelihood were affected by the change.

Cortes said at first, it was hard to convince the people.

He led by example and set up an office at the dumpsite to show his sincerity in implementing the changes.

Some of the residents were offered financial aid so that they could return to their home provinces.

The remaining residents who have been helping the government with the project will receive the one-hectare container-based organic vegetable garden which can become a new source of income.

More than two hectares were already turned into a greenery park and a habitable community with a day care center, and a chapel for masses.

Meanwhile, five hectares are being developed into a forest park by the San Miguel Corp. with tree-planting activities. (idc/PIA7)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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