Press Release
July 26, 2016

Villar opens vermicomposting facility at protected habitat

Sen. Cynthia Villar led the opening today of a vermicomposting facility at the Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Eco-Tourism Area (LPPCHEA), a declared Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention.

The activity was held to observe the International Mangrove Action Day and the National Disaster Consciousness Month.

"We want to make LPPCHEA a destination where the people enjoy watching the birds or communing with nature, that's why we are introducing a system which allows a natural and sustainable way of waste management," Villar said.

Vermicomposting is the process of composting garden or food wastes using various worms to produce nutrient-rich organic fertilizer. The facility is a temporary structure occupying 240 sqm in the area. It makes the environment healthier as it reduces waste in a healthy and natural process.

Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance), the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of Vista Land, donated the vermicomposting structure to the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA), which holds the title over portions of LPPCHEA.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources- National Capital Region and PRA will sign a memorandum of agreement governing the operation of the said facility.

Villar stressed the environmental benefit of recycling wastes on site, which eliminates the need for transportation and storage.

Similar facilities around Las Pinas City produces 60,000 kilos of organic fertilizer and distributed for free to farmers and vegetable gardeners. The composting centers greatly help in realizing millions of savings on the city's garbage hauling expenses.

Mangrove-planting and clean up activity were also participated in by some 500 people coming from Cavitex Advocates for the Restoration of the Environment, Alliance for Stewardship and Authentic Progress, Save Freedom Island Movement, Bureau of Fire Protection- Las Pinas City; Philippine Coast Guard , Philippine Coast Guard Auxilliary NCR - Luzon; PNP Maritime Group; Philippine Red Cross - Las Piñas Subchapter; Metro Manila Development Authority; Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) IV- A; Maynilad; Infant Jesus Montessori Center Cavite; Mother Earth Foundation; National Teacher College; Save Our Shores; Society for the Conservation of Wetlands Philippines; Southville International School and Colleges; Wild Bird Club of the Philippines; and St. Paul Parañaque YES-O.

School heads and teachers from Department of Education Las Piñas Schools, DepEd Paranaque schools, and homeowners and residents of Las Piñas and Parañaque Cities were also present.

LPPCHEA is among the six Ramsar-listed sites in the Philippines along with the Tubbataha Reef in Sulu, the Underground River in Palawan, the Agusan Marsh in Agusan del Sur, the Naujan Lake in Oriental Mindoro, and the Olango Island in Cebu. It is the only site situated in an urban setting. It is a critical area as decreed by Presidential Proclamation No. 1412 and 1412-A in 2007.

It has 36 hectares of mangrove forest, the thickest and most diverse among the remaining mangrove areas in Manila Bay. It is also known to host 82 species of wild birds, including the Philippine Ducks, Chinese Egret and the Black-Winged Stilts.

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