The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) CALABARZON together with the concerned local government units and other government agencies awarded the best ecological gardens in Lucena City, Quezon on November 26, 2021.
The awarding ceremony was the culminating activity under the Project Urban TANIM (Tayo ang kalikasan: ANI para sa Mamamayan) which is a synchronized program of the DENR-Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of Quezon and the Provincial Government of Quezon in partnership with the City Government of Lucena, Alona Partylist, Office of the Representative of the 3rd Congressional District of Quezon Province, and Department of Agriculture CALABARZON.
The said project is an edible garden competition which aims to ensure food safety, food security and livelihood in urban and other similar areas amid the threat of COVID-19, and reduce solid waste generation.
At the onset of the project early in July 2021, the Provincial Government of Quezon took the initiative to encourage the residents of Lucena City, particularly those who belong to the marginalized sector of the society or the urban poor, to grow foods right at their own homes. The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist of Quezon distributed to the participants seeds and other planting materials and provided them with training on recycling, composting, and hydroponics.
On the other hand, DENR-PENRO Quezon partnered with the Federation of Lucena Homeowners Association, Inc. (FLHAI) and Dangal at Sigla ng Sambayanan sa Lucena City Homeowners Federation (DASSAL) to encourage the residents of Lucena City, not only those who are living in urban area but also those who are residing in subdivisions and villages, to advocate on environmental clean-up and to reduce solid waste generation. Per data provided by the Provincial Environmental Management Office of Quezon, Lucena LGU is collecting 27 tons of solid wastes within its jurisdiction, 14 tons of which are biodegradable while 13 tons are non-biodegradable.
DENR CALABARZON Regional Executive Director Nilo B. Tamoria said, “isa sa mga mithiin ng aming tanggapan ang mabawasan ang mga basurang napupunta lamang sa mga sanitary landfill. Kung kaya’t sa pangunguna ng mga lokal na pamahalaan, patuloy nating isinusulong ang wastong pamamahala ng basura kasama na ang tamang paghihiwa-hiwalay ng mga ito sa lebel ng sambahayan.”
“Ang “Project Urban TANIM” ay isang napakagandang proyektong inilunsad sa kolaborasyon ng iba’t ibang ahensya ng gobyerno, na nagsusulong na mabawasan ang basura sa pamamagitan ng pagko-compost at pagreresiklo habang tinitiyak ang seguridad ng pagkain at kabuhayan para sa mga mamamayan,” Tamoria added.
245 and 153 members of DASSAL and FLHAI, respectively, submitted their entries. Among them, 70 entries were selected as finalists for different categories: 10 entries each from both organizations for open space and community categories; 20 entries from FHLAI and 10 entries from DASSAL for backyard and frontyard categories; and 10 entries each from both organizations for pocket and window categories. The entries were judged based on creativity, visual attractions, diversity of ornamental crops, innovations, sustainability plan, solid waste management, use of recycled materials, and vlog content, likes/views, and documentation including records, photos, etc.
Grand winners for the categories were: Calmar Homes Homeowner Association for open space category with P150,000.00 reward; Villa Bagong Pag-Asa Homeowners Association, Inc. for community category with P150,000.00 reward; Ben Del Mundo for community frontyard category with P50,000.00 reward; Germiniano Danez for community backyard category with P50,000.00 reward; Joebelyn Paredes for individual frontyard/backyard category with P30,000.00 reward; Nestor Pajarit for pocket category with P30,000.00 reward; and Rowena Gertez for window category with P20,000.00 reward. The rest of the finalists also received cash rewards.
“Sana po hindi matapos dito sa awarding ang pakikiisa ng mga kalahok sa kompetisyong ito sa mga adhikain ng DENR. Sa susunod na taon, maaaring magkaroon ulit ng ganitong gawain pero higit pa sa paghangad sa premyo, sana ay hangarin din ng bawat isa ang pagpapanatili ng malinis at luntiang komunidad para sa kasalukuyang henerasyon at sa mga susunod pa,” Tamoria said.###