Brgy. Fort Bonifacio, Taguig

A single step can produce an echo loud enough for a hundred villages to hear. Or, in the case of Brgy. Fort Bonifacio, to spark a change in all the barangays in Taguig and its hundreds and thousands of residents.

When then Barangay Chairman (and now Congressman) Lino Cayetano took up the challenge of transforming Brgy. Fort Bonifacio, he had two things in mind- the first was to turn the growing commercial hub into a model LGU for Ecological Solid Waste Management. The second was to offer a solution to a perennial problem of having a “transfer station” that transforms into an open dump site. By early evening, this dump site occupies two lanes of the four lane Pasong Tamo Extension.

Tapping Mother Earth Foundation as a partner in the project, households were trained to unlearn old habits of waste disposal and adapt a waste segregation system where, as one resident puts it, “hindi na mukhang basura ang mga basura.” Complementing segregation was the low-tech and low-cost approach of daily garbage collection via barangay collectors and their tri-bikes. By maximizing the Materials Recovery Facility and with the help of the Community Orga and Solid Waste Liaison Officers, the community soon had a working system for managing solid waste – kitchen wastes are funneled to a vendor for kanin baboy, the rest of the compostables are channeled to the compost pits; recyclables are stored in the storage space and then sold to junk shops, and only the residuals are collected by the city.

Aside from being a functional system, one big success of the project was the Materials Recovery Facility. Once an abandoned space along Pasong Tamo Extension, the lot was full of garbage and had been a site for various petty crimes. Today, it proudly houses the community MRF and has been transformed into a mini eco-park with foliage, gardening, and an eco-store.

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