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CSNHS is finest eco-friendly school in the country — DENR

By Mar S. Arguelles
Bicol Mail

The Camarines Sur National High School (CSNHS) based in Naga City is this year’s finest eco-friendly secondary school across the country, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said Monday, Nov. 21.

Behind CSNHS in the nationwide high school level search for eco-friendly schools are the University of San Jose Recoletos – High School in Cebu City (2nd place) and Daniel R. Aquinaldo National High School in Davao City (3rd place).

Joselin Marcus Fragada, DENR regional executive director, lauded the CSNHS for garnering the most coveted top award among regional high schools in the country.

“This should serve as an inspiration among our local academe, to do well and strive harder to pursue a green institution, wherein students are highly aware of their roles in keeping our environment sustainable and protected,” Fragada said.

A second placer in the 2009 search, the CSNHS strived even harder and finally triumphed among the country’s eco-friendly schools by coveting the national championship this year.

Recognized for its sustainable environment-friendly programs, CSNHS was adjudged as Bicol’s most eco-friendly school in school year 2011, having pushed its environmental programs and projects to the fore of the school’s curricula.

The DENR, together with the Department of Education (DepEd), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Smart Communications, identified nine schools for the national championships in the 2011 National Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools.

Handing out the awards in simple ceremonies held Wednesday last week, Nov. 16, at SM City North EDSA were DENR Assistant Secretary for Management and Finance Corazon Davis, representing DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje; Smart’s Community Partnerships senior manager Darwin Flores; DepEd’s Nutrition Division head Dr. Juan Araojo Jr.; and CHED Director William Malitao.

In a speech read by Davis, Paje described as “overwhelming” the schools’ response to the call for entries to the competition.

“The contest was launched so that schools will participate more actively in environmental programs. We hope that in doing so, the students will also encourage others to adopt sustainable practices,” Paje said.

The nine national champions were chosen from 45 regional champions representing the elementary, high school and college levels. For the elementary level, Iliranan Elementary School of San Carlos City in Negros Occidental, Kibawe Central School in Kibawe, Bukidnon, and San Mariano Elementary School in Roxas, Oriental Mindoro were proclaimed first, second and third placers, respectively.

In the college level, De La Salle University – Dasmariñas in Cavite, Palawan State University in Puerto Princesa City, and Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City were awarded first, second and third placers, respectively.

The national champions each received plaques of recognition and cash prizes of P50,000 for first place, P40,000 for second place, and P30,000 for third place.

The awarding coincided with the celebration of National Environmental Awareness Month this November, as provided for under Republic Act No. 9512, also known as the National Environmental Awareness and Education Act of 2008.

Now on its second run, the nationwide competition aims to recognize educational institutions from elementary to college levels that have the best sustainable and environment-friendly programs and activities.

The activity is the Philippines’ initiative in support of the ASEAN Environmental Education Action Plan (2008-2012), and the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014).

Sustainable Development (2005-2014).

Solid Waste Management Office created; also named as Special Concerns Office

By Jason B. Neola
Bicol Mail

If your streets are cleaner and the city’s garbage collection is noticeably more efficient, it’s because those concerns now belong to a bigger office recently created by city hall.

By virtue of Ordinance No. 2011-001, the Solid Waste Management Office (SWMO) was created out of the former Waste and Pollution Management Division of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (ENRO), elevating the new office into a regular department, to be headed by a Solid Waste Management Officer.

Now steered by Engr. Joel Martin as department officer, the existing City Motorpool that he heads has also been placed under the new department.

As provided for by the ordinance, the SWMO will have the following functions:

a. Develop plans, programs and projects on solid waste management compliant with Republic Act 9003 or the Solid Waste Management Act and other applicable laws and execute the same upon approval thereof;

b. Maintain cleanliness of city hall premises, city streets, street islands, parks and plazas and other public spaces as may be assigned by the city mayor; and

c. Coordinate with government agencies and/or offices and non-government organizations regarding the different programs and projects of the city government on solid waste management.

In addition to its regular functions, the SWMO has also been designated by City Mayor John G. Bongat, through his Administrative Order No. 2011-007, as Special Concerns Office, with Engr. Martin, the newly-designated City Solid Management Officer, as executive director.

The Special Concerns Office will serve as implementing office of small scale community projects which may be completed through unified community efforts (i.e. rabuz or barangay basis). These projects, among others, include drainages, pathways, sun dryers, public rest rooms, pavements for communal use and all undertakings that may be determined by the city mayor as special projects.

Naga River rehabilitation gets boost from German government initiative

By Jason B. Neola
Bicol Mail

The Naga River Revitalization Project (NRRP) was given another boost after a German initiative committed to assist the city government in the preparation of a pre-feasibility study to be presented to prospective funding institutions.

Established in 2007 by the Asian Development Bank and the German government, with support from the governments of Sweden, Spain, and Austria, the Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA) has come to this city to offer help in the realization of the latter’s development plans and investments on infrastructures.

The German government, through the CDIA, has committed US$321,000 to finance the pre-feasibility study on Naga River rehabilitation, which study should be completed by the end of this year.

The pre-feasibility study, at no cost to the city government, needs financial institutions to fund certain projects of the city as far as the rehabilitation of the Naga River is concerned.

For the Naga River, City Mayor John Bongat hopes the realization of the following projects:

  • Construction of compatibly-designed arches for “Danlugan ni Ina” along Tabuco on one end and the Basilica on the other where lamp posts and benches will be put up along the river walk;
  • Development of the 1.13 hectare property of the city at Sagrada Familia (popularly known as Sitio Isla Sison) which would include the provision of a medium-rise housing to free space for mixed-use developments;
  • Construction of pedestrian bridges connecting Dayangdang-Peñafrancia and Lerma- Dinaga;
  • Construction of a landscape riverpark at the Tabuco-Sabang area with provision for zipline stations and boathouses;
  • Installation of multi-purpose monument boards which bear themes and contents that may be adjusted or changed depending on the season;
  • Construction of paid public restrooms at the foot of major bridges along the project area (with cost recovery) and;
  • Setting up of docks and jetties in three strategic locations, specifically: at the mouth of the Naga River at the Tabuco-Sabang area; the Naga City People’s Mall; and the Magsaysay entertainment and lifestyle area.

Senior Environmental Engineer Karin Eberle said the CDIA management team is supporting the construction of such facilities part of Mayor Bongat’s plan to upgrade the city’s residential areas.