Palawan gets 8 waste collection vehicles from US
MANILA, Philippines – The United States government has donated eight waste collection vehicles to Barangay Bancao-Bancao in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, to support the community’s waste collection services efforts.
In a statement Monday, the US Embassy in Manila said the donation, which was made through the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Clean Cities, Blue Ocean program, is composed of five bicycles, two motorcycles with sidecars, and one four-wheel multicab.
According to the embassy, these vehicles would increase the Barangay Bancao-Bancao’s prior collection capacity and improve waste collection for an estimated 3,000 residences in Puerto Princesa.
These waste collectors are also called Eco Warriors in the community, a term coined by Project Zacchaeus to describe the group of informal waste collectors that the organization assists in solid waste management education. These informal waste collectors support their families while also maintaining a healthy environment.
“We are pleased to turn over these vehicles to the Eco Warriors, who have emerged as local leaders in sustainability and waste management, as we work together in curbing ocean plastic pollution and building sustainable circular economies,” U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Heather Variava said.
These vehicles were aided through a grant to Project Zacchaeus, which aims to address ocean plastic pollution and the vital concerns of those working in the informal waste and recycling sectors.
The waste collection vehicles were received by John Gastanes, the founder of Project Zacchaeus Marketing Cooperative (PZC), and Eco Warriors president Lydia Casiano.
“We are very grateful to USAID for providing our Eco Warriors with these vehicles,” said Gayjun Dangan, barangay chairman of Bancao-Bancao.
“Truly, these will help improve our city’s waste collection system and increase the income of our Eco Warriors,” he added.
USAID is also training 60 Eco Warriors in proper waste management, occupational health and safety, and leadership in collaboration with PZC, the city administration of Puerto Princesa, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the embassy said. – Jericho Zafra, INQUIRER.net intern
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