The DENR provincial office has launched a program thru contest aim to strengthen the Republic Act 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management and encourage residents to engage into urban gardening.

From January 12-14, 2021, the DENR PENRO Rizal through its Manila Bay Site Coordinating Management Office conducted the pre-judging of the Search for Best Ecological Garden and Solid Waste Management Practice in Urban Barangays in the Province of Rizal.

They were joined by the official judges namely: For. Cynthia N. Rozaldo – Deputy Site Manager of MBCO-SMO4, Ms. Ann Hazel D. Javier – OIC, Regional Strategic Communications and Initiatives Group, Ms. Josefina Pudiquet – Environmental Management Bureau, Mr. Mario Cayetano – Rizal Environment and Natural Resources Officer, Mr. Rodel Dela Cruz – Head, YES to Green Program, Engr. Pocholo Raymundo – Provincial Agriculturist’s Office, Mr. Martee Dela Cruz – Regional Agriculturist’s Office, Engr. Marlon F. Pielago – MENRO Teresa Rizal and For. Isidro L. Mercado, Ph.D – Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer represented by Engr. Marilyn B. Paunil – Focal Person, MBSCMO Rizal.

The 3-day activity proved that creativity is innate quality of Filipinos as plastic wastes were turned into colorful and innovative eco-planters, other ornaments and even bricks, discarded tires into sturdy chairs and tables and PET bottles into small barrel garden.

The judges and the team from DENR PENRO Rizal were welcomed by the whole barangay unit with the Barangay Chairpersons taking in-charge of showing and telling the judges the story behind the establishment of their gardens. They were in-turn asked about the solid waste management practices being implemented in the community.

From the lively ornamental plants, vigorous vegetable plants, colorful eco-planters up to the technology they used in gardening such us hydroponics and small barrel garden, the ecological garden were a sight to behold.

The urban barangays were challenged more on the implementation of RA 9003 to improve solid waste management and ensure the sustainability of the gardens.

 It is exciting to see the developments they can still make before the final judging which will take place on April, 2021.