...presents...

The Teachings from the Book of Vermi

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Bibliography

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(SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT FOR SCHOOLS Miriam College- Environmental Studies Institute and the Environmental Management Bureau-DENR, 2005)

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Journal

Rafael D. Guerrero III, Ph. D., First Filipino recipient of Mgr. Dr. Jan D.F. Heine Memorial Award. (2010). Asian Journal , A10.

Interview

Agubang, T. (2011, November 10). Garbage Collector. (M. A. Zaragoza, Interviewer)

Alberto, A. (2011, November 9). Dos Sensatez Class Representative. (S. Aquino, Interviewer)

Alferez, S. (2011, November 10). School Principal. (S. Aquino, Interviewer)

Aquino, M. V. (2011, November 10). NCSHS Student's Parent. (K. Sarmiento, Interviewer)

Baloro, A. (2011, November 11). National Greening Program Division Coordinator of DepEd, Naga City. (K. Ondis, Interviewer)

Calma, M. (2011, November 9). Peace Officer. (S. Aquino, Interviewer)

Dacian, D. (2011,NOvember 11). Brgy.Marupit, CamaliganCamarines Sur Kagawad. (K. Ondis , Interviewer)

Delos Santos, F. (2011, October 27). Ponong, Magarao Resident. (M. Labao, Interviewer)

Jose ( 2011, November 10). Canteen Staff. (K. Ondis,Interviewer)

Llantero, M. (2011, November 9). Acting, Senior Environmental Management Soecialist. (K. M. Ondis, Interviewer)

Lopez, R. (2011, October 27). Ponong, Magaro Resident. (M. Labao, Interviewer)

Martin, E. J. (2011, November 11). Chief Motorpool section C.E.O. (K. M. Ondis, Interviewer)

Ondis, K. M. (2011, October 10). Junior CREST President. (J. Turiano, Interviewer)

Patungan, N. (2011, November 9). Class Representative. (S. Aquino, Interviewer)

Velarde, T. (2011, November 9). Peace Officer. (S. Aquino, Interviewer)

METHODOLOGY

The process of coming up with this study has undergone a series of consultations, discussions, tossing and turning sleepless nights of all members of the team before until this was finally realized. Student-CREST members, teacher-coaches and parents were consulted as this is a collaboration of all possible efforts that one could ever imagine.

At the beginning, Ms. Labao and Ms. Cathy Ramos identified ten (10) students from Junior Crest Organization to join the “Doon Po Sa Amin” contest sponsored by Smart. After the identification of the members, the teacher-student group went through chains of brainstorming to have a definite topic to work on. Right after the brainstorming and deciding on the topic, the parents of the students were called for a conference and discussed with them the particulars of the research, financial needs and sought their commitment on allowing their child to join the team. After consulting the parents, the advisers of the team gave the students their different tasks to work on.

Then, the team went to Brgy. Ponong, Magarao and Gawad Kalinga site in Balatas, Naga City to conduct lecture-Series Seminar-Workshop on Global Worming Initiative.

Inside the campus, the team had a year-level campaign about the solid waste management. Making of signboards, recycled containers for biodegradables and non-biodegradables, recyclables,intensive room to room campaign on paper segregation in each class.Series of initiated clean-up activities , maintaining the vermicomposting site, organic gardening , seedling propagation and tree-planting activities.

Next, the team also conducted surveys and interviews to the students, teachers and staff of the campus.

In connection with the cleanliness campaign of the team, they had a clean-up activity along Peñafrancia Avenue right after the Traslacion and along the Panganiban Drive right after the Military Parade with the Solid Waste Management Unit of the City.

To gather information, the team interviewed Key informants related to the research. They interviewed the students, principal,parents, non-teaching staff, garbage collectors, Solid-Waste Management Officers, cooperators from Brgy. Ponong and GK site in Balatas.

For additional information, the team also gathered some facts from the internet, books, pamphlets and other documents in regards with the research.

Available computer applications were used for the building of web site. ICT tools used include Adobe Dreamweaver, JQuery, Java Scripting,Flash, Adobe Photoshop CS3, Adobe Photoshop Light Room,Cyberlink Power Director 9, Adobe Flash CS3, Picasa 3, and Comic Life. MS Word Excel for making of graphs and MS Word for production of tasks and write-ups.

In the end, all members of the team helped all throughout the making of the research and additional assistance were provided by all teachers, parents, and all students of NCSHS. Overall, the research output was a product of efforts not only of the student-team but also of the community.

Click here to see the list of activities.

FOCUS STUDY

The Hidden Treasure

Before solid waste management initiatives were introduced, Naga City Science High School was no different from that of an ordinary public secondary school in terms of students’ attitudes towards garbage disposal. Here, one can see students just dropping off plastics most often candy wrappers, tear here parts of junk foods and plastic cellophanes used as soft drinks dispensers along the path walk, along the corridors, or even leave their trash under their seats inside their classroom or in laboratory rooms, probably thinking that the sweepers would just be in-charge of picking them up. One can also observe how students just ignore a trash that dropped off from their pockets or just stare and even step on a piece of garbage they come across with along the corridors and path walks in the campus. That is the kind of students NCSHS have before this initiatives. Far from how it is known for-- the best science high school in the metro, committed to social responsibility and with perpetuation and reverence for God’s creation.

The Genesis of Vermi

Being a kilometer away from the mountain of garbage of Balatas dumpsite, a terrible smell always reaches Naga City Science High School. Having been in this situation, the school sought many ways to address this environmental problem including Global Warming.

With the initiative of a green-minded teacher, an organization composed of 30 members (27 students and 3 teachers) was created. Through personal consultation and coordination to other existing environmental organizations, environmentally-concerned individuals and a formal courtesy to the school’s principal, she was able to prepare the said organization for their mission of fulfilling a cleaner environment. Until such time a seminar-workshop on Global Worming Initiative was held last March 31 to April 1, 2011 at Naga City Science High School wherein, it strongly pursues the advocacy to fight Global Warming. This consequently gave birth to the Junior CREST (Campers, Researchers, Earth-Savers, Trekkers) organization. A series of values reorientations on loving, valuing and taking care of the Earth to its members were conducted. Thus, member becomes more aware and conscious to his/her environment.

Passionate with its advocacy, the team made a stronger campaign towards having a healthier environment. The organization implemented several school-based projects such as: paper drive, plastic bottle collection; some policies about solid waste management, posters and sign boards posted all over the campus, and also urban gardening was initiated.

The idea of urban gardening, the extensive kitchen waste from the canteen, the collection of biodegradable wastes produced inside the school, the need for sustainable environment: these all coincide and gave rise to the idea of Vermi-technology. From a small step of acquiring a kilogram of African Night Crawlers from Senior CREST of Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA), awakened the desire of junior CREST members to have cleaner and greener surroundings in the school. This has inflamed them to initiate more projects and activities that promote a zero-waste environment for Naga City Science High School. The team foresees that DPSA competition is a very effective means or avenue to promote its advocacy to others, thus the DPSA-Crest Team joined and created this entry.

The Exodus of Vermi

The school’s enormous collection of kitchen scraps from the canteen such as vegetable and fruit peels have largely contributed to the implementation of the team’s organic gardening project. Refuse from the kitchen were fed to the African Night Crawlers, worm specie used in Vermi-technology that generate organic fertilizer applied in vegetable production. This project demonstrates that the advantage of proper waste segregation not only promises a dirt-free environment but also a resource of safe, toxic-free, and healthy food.

The introduction of Vermi-technology made a tremendous effect on the attitude of students, especially of the DPSA-CREST team members in Naga City Science High School. It has taught not only the student-members, but also the entire community on how to care for the environment by making use of wastes in a fruitful way.

So, what is the technology about? Vermi-technology is an environment-friendly and economic process of regaining soil fertility. It suggests an agriculture tactic called Vermi-culture which refers to breeding and production of earthworms (usually African Night Crawler) and their castings. Vermi-technology has gone a long way in the field of agriculture.

( Vermitechnology by Vermiculture http://www.wastewaterevaporation.com/Vermitechnology.html)

In an article in TOFIL, the Outstanding Filipino Award (http://www.tofil.ph/awardee_profile.php?id=96), it was discussed that Dr. Rafael Guerrero (the man responsible in introducing vermi-technology in the Philippines as well as in the Southeast Asia) he was able to determine the suitable worm species for the country, the Indian Blue (Perionyx Excavatus) which is fastest-growing among the ten species he collected. In one of his symposia, he met Dr. Otto Graff, the German scientist who presented him the African Night Crawler (Eudrilus eugeneia, which he found out to be more effective at composting and is also used as a way of reducing the major pollutant in agriculture which is pig manure. By this, he decided to introduce it in the country in the year of 1982. From then on, the knowledge about vermi-technology had spread in different regions in the country, studied by specialist coming from CREST-CBSUA (Central Bicol State University), a nearby university and up until the knowledge had been taught and passed onto the DPSA Junior CREST of NCSHS, and will probably to millions of others out there who is reading and will read this entry.

The processes involved in vermi-culture are the construction of the vermi-plot, the making of vermi-bed, the regular monitoring and cultivating of worms and lastly, the harvesting of worms and casts; and, the cycle goes again.

The Enlightenment

Vermi-technology has been a great help to the school since it started, for it requires the use of food wastes, which has initiated a major leap in reducing solid wastes in the school. The peelings of various kinds of vegetables and fruits utilized by the school canteen and the garden trimmings became the favorite food of the worms. By this, the team was overwhelmed by the idea of making use of all kinds of garbage available in the campus, decided to reduce all forms of solid wastes, thereby making the entire campus a garbage-free campus.

The “Plastic Bottles Collection Drive” started in 2009 originally to reduce garbage in the school. Shortly, this program was viewed as a good source of funds for the improvement of educational materials and student development. Students were encouraged to collect plastic bottles. A gabion was suitably installed in a conspicuous location where students simply place all sorts of plastic bottles. At present, two (2) gabions are already in place to accommodate the increasing volume of plastic containers. The bottles are sold to junk shops.

Generated from these disregarded plastic containers are teaching aids, a ping pong table, an LCD television, and musical instruments.

Inspired by the DPSA team, the Supreme Student Government proposed, launched, and implemented a clean-up drive through the Model Class Project with the theme: “Nagueniang Totoo: Modelo Kami ng Sci High 2011-2012”. This project was designed to promote cleanliness in the school campus throughout the school year and instill to the students the value of clean surroundings. More so, maintaining a dirt-free environment is a great source of knowledge and insights that are vital parts of the conducive learning process. The activity will also develop discipline and sense of responsibility among Naguenians.

The Model Class Project devised an incentive scheme, where awards and recognition are rewarded weekly to students or class with the cleanest, most organized classroom with segregated garbage and with highest punctuality rating.

Fore fronted by the DPSA CREST team, the Paper Drive was initiated for income generation to support its environmental missions. Collection boxes were placed along the corridors where students can freely throw used papers. These papers are sold to junk shops wherein most of the proceeds are equally shared among the class to subsidize their projects.

The team also led the Plastic Wrapper Collection activity. Packaging materials made of foil and plastics from candies, junk food, crackers, and mini-cakes are gathered. These “undesirable” materials are given to Brgy. Kgd Dante Dacian of Zone 5, Marupit Camaligan, Camarines Sur for their proposed Plastic Wrappers Recycling Livelihood Project. Tapping local government unit, cooperatives or small organizations involved in recycling projects, this scheme will somehow contribute to poverty alleviation and promote environmental awareness among the locals.

To make use of the team’s vermi-products, campus urban gardening was initiated using soil from compost and vermi-cast. The team made use of available spaces around the vermi-plots as the urban garden site. Vegetables such as egg plant, okra, bitter gourd, and tomatoes were planted on halved-liter bottles of sofdrinks, plastic bags, and broken plastic containers to make use of other non-biodegradable wastes that the school produces. The group was also able to produce mahogany seedlings from seeds they picked up on campus grounds.

The solid waste segregation movement exhibited proper handling, separation, and disposal of all types of garbage found within the campus. Indeed, a quite experiential learning. The team came to realize that, a zero-waste environment is not just a dream because it appeared that every sort of garbage has its own special place under the sun. Overtime, our campus will showcase a clean and green community thriving in an atmosphere of serenity which is ideal for intellectual, spiritual, and physical development.

The Aftermath

After five months of garbage segregation campaign in the school, the team made an assessment of how effective it was. Ambush interviews were conducted to Naguenians, to garbage collectors and to other members of the school community.

In the interview with Melchor E. Llantero, acting Senior Environmental Management Specialist, he said that the assigned garbage collector for Naga City Science High School reported a decrease in the bulk of garbage collected within the campus. He also mentioned that he has heard of the solid waste segregation implemented in the school and hopes that other schools could follow the lead to tremendously decrease garbage collected in the entire city.

In an interview with the garbage collector himself Mr. Tyrone Agubang, he made mentioned about the decrease in garbage collected in the campus, but according to him segregated garbage are piled up together just the same in one truck and suggested that there should be separate collection schedules for biodegradable and non-biodegradable trash.

Another interview with Engr. Joel Martin, head of SWMO-Naga City, he said that he was grateful that Science High School is implementing the solid waste management and it is the only school in Naga City that he knew of that is implementing this kind of program. He will feature the best practices of the school on the said program on his presentation this November. He also requested that if ever the visitors from National Solid Waste Management Office would come, he hopes that the school would be willing to accommodate and to tour them in the campus to observe the solid waste management practice.

In an interview with junior CREST regarding the implemented projects, she said that the organization is implementing a lot of solid waste management projects to help lessen the production of waste and garbage. And in an interview with the principal on what is the state of the school after implementing the said program and regarding the effectiveness of the program, and how else does he think the program can be effective he said that the waste management program has improved the attitude of students and its wastes has diminished and it will improve more if all the members of the institution: teachers, non-teaching personnel and student will cooperate. And in an interview to a parent and questions asked like, “were you aware of the program?”, “how do you support the program? She said that she knew and heard about it already and she supports by supporting her daughter’s organization endeavor. She is happy that the school has it, because it helps the student to be civic-minded, concerned with the environment, and is a very good program for their children to become responsible, especially in environment.

Naguenians were also interviewed about what they can say regarding segregation programs of the school and here are some of their views. Before, the students don’t know how to throw their trashes, they just dispose of their trash everywhere. But after the orientation and implementation of CREST, the students become more discipline. They said that, Dahil Kay Vermi, Natuto Kami…

A survey was also conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the program among Naguenians. With a total 510 Naguenian-respondents, survey says that 491 or 98% of the respondents are aware of the waste segregation program of the school. On the question “Have you started segregating?” about 331 out of 510 or 66% answered on the affirmative and on the question “if they have observed other batches segregating?”, about 315 or 63% responded positively. When asked what made their segregation easy, mostly answered cooperation and discipline, enough trash cans with labels and knowledge about what biodegradable and non biodegradable is. Since, most of the trashes found on campus ground are candy wrappers and ‘tear-hear’ parts of chips. The team also asked students if it was difficult to throw these trashes on proper trash bins resulted to a 454 or 89% respondent, replied NO.

Figure 1. Question whether school has Waste Management Program

Table 1 shows that 491 or 98% of respondents are aware of the waste segregation program of the school.

Figure 2. Question whether waste segregation has started in their classroom

Table 2 shows 331 or 66% answered on the affirmative that they started their waste segregation.

Figure 3. Question whether different year level s are segregating their respective classroom’s garbages. Table 3 shows that 315 or 63% responded positively acting on it and implementing the segregation.

Figure 4. Question whether they found it easy to segregate

The table shows that 247 or 49.4 % of the respondents found it easy to segregate.

Figure 5. Question whether throwing wrappers or ‘tear here’ part of chips is difficult.

Table 5 shows 454 or 89% responded with NO means they find it easy to throw pieces of plastics torn from plastic junk food wrappers.

Though the team was not able to get the 100% positive response on all questions, the respondents or the majority of the respondents are aware of the implementation of the solid waste management program of the school. Generally, the segregation program had an effect on the mind set of most students especially on the first year students. More so, the implementation is quite effective because it is on its early stage of implementation inside the school, merely five months, so, the response is quite reasonable. Not to mention, the freshmen manifested their eagerness to participate in this program as it is remarkably shown in the survey. A long way to go, but the team with its second-liner members is willing to do intensive campaign until such time the “practice” lingers on.

For the small percentage of the population who negatively responded to the program, the team hopes that in the succeeding project campaign, they team would be able to get them understand and join in the implementation of the solid waste management program of the school.

The Mission

Overwhelmed by the success of the solid waste management in the school, the team embarked on a new challenge. Sharing forward the solid waste initiative they started, and where to go? Barangay Ponong Magarao, Camarines Sur.

Having heard about solid waste management initiative in Naga City Science High School, Bobby Abad, barangay captain of Barangay Ponong, Magarao Camarines Sur, through the CBSUA Senior CREST adviser invited the DPSA team of the school to conduct the seminar-workshop on “Global Worming Initiative” that they have started.

Barangay Ponong, the Road less travelled

Barangay Ponong is one of the fifteen (15) barangays in the 4th class municipality of Magarao in Camarines Sur, Bicol Region. Bordering the Bicol River, Barangay Ponong is the remotest community from the main town of Magarao. This 387-hectare land is situated along the Bicol River and form part of the estuarine area. It is more or less ten (10) kilometers away from the town proper. With a total population of 1,459, majority of the 290 households derive their means of livelihood from freshwater, animal, avial, and agricultural resources at a small scale level.

One problem that beset households is the nonexistence of a Materials Recovery Facility in the barangay. Some of them burn their garbage, some dispose their garbage at their own convenience, but, some have learned to designate a permanent waste disposal area in their backyard. Recently, a zone leader has encouraged her constituents to put up make shift structures for temporary garbage disposal. However, the structure is not resilient enough to accommodate the volume of solid waste that was accumulated overtime. The collection of the garbage being done by the municipal government seldom reaches Barangay Ponong. Before the garbage truck gets to their place, it is so loaded with garbage collected from barangays nearer to the town proper. Local officials attempted to identify an area for garbage disposal but it never accommodated the large volume of wastes. Also, some households are too lazy to comply.

Life in Barangay Ponong is simple despite the difficult situation and deficient source of livelihood. Residents of this depressed community appear contented and chose to settle without complaints or grievances. They may be dependent on the natural resources that the surrounding environs provide. But, there is a need for them to survive. Their priorities include their daily need for survival. Existing regulating laws and ordinances become insignificant against their need to exist in an environment that is denied with basic necessities. On the other hand, they still have not realized that the ecological impacts they made today spells the future of the next generation, which includes their children, grandchildren, grandchildren’s children and whoever completes their family tree.

Spreading the Gift

The DPSA team of Naga City Science High School views this potentiality or situation of the community as an advantage. People of this barangay are cooperative, receptive to new ideas, and appreciative to the CREST or team’s endeavors for the common good. Enthusiasm to uplift their present economic and environmental status has never slackened. They are more than willing to take actions to solve whatever environment problems that they are encountering rather than contributing more to the predicaments at hand.

The team was enthusiastically motivated when they conducted the lecture-series and on-site demonstrations at Barangay Ponong regarding “Global Worming Initiative” or (GWI). The residents were taught about proper waste handling, segregation and disposal, composting, and organic gardening. Power Point presentations, training materials, pledge cards for cooperators, and certificates for the participants were prepared.

Vegetable seeds and fruit-bearing tree seedlings were also distributed to the participants. The recycled plastic containers, organic substrates, and a kilogram of African Night Crawlers were given to some cooperators and they were taught to make a hanging vermi.

The Promised Land

One of the team’s community recipients is the Gawad Kalinga village in Naga City. Gawad Kalinga is a community empowered by people with faith and patriotism. Their mission is simply to end poverty by 2024, give land for the landless, home for the homeless and food for the hungry. In one of its seven-point vision, Gawad Kalinga envisions an environmentally healthy community, where residents practice the principles of proper utilization and preservation of the environment.

The GK Village in Balatas Naga City is composed of thirty five (35) households that came from different places in Naga City such as Lerma, Triangulo and neighboring barangays. Most of them were affected by the construction of malls. Their usual source of income is carpentry, selling and other sorts of labor works.

http://www.gk1world.com/7pointvision

The Epiphany

The GK Village particularly in Balatas, Naga City seems to have just started as there were no plants seen on areas/plots yet, and most parts of vacant lots are thrived with weeds and grasses. As you enter the village, you can observe that houses are clean, each household has a front yard to maintain, but still a big part of the village seem to be neglected. Segregation of garbage is not evident.

With eagerness, the team conducted the same Global Worming Initiative (GWI) training/workshop in GK. They accorded to the households in Ponong, having ten (10) households in the village. A kilo of African Night Crawler coming from the team’s vermi-plot was also given to them, as they themselves performed a demonstration on how to make a hanging vermi-bed.

After a month, the team visited the communities again. This time, a follow-up activity is conducted to assess the impact of the training conducted in both areas, Barangay Ponong and GK Village.

The visits in both communities were fruitful. The vermi worms that the team has entrusted to several households in Barangay Ponong have multiplied fast and are healthy because of the cow manure and kitchen wastes that they have frequently fed in them. The seeds and seedlings that the team distributed were not yet planted though due to constant upsurge of water from the river.

The team recommended a hanging and floating gardens but training is still yet to be done on some later date. The team also noticed that they have started segregating garbage using improvised garbage bags in forms of sacks fixed in tripod twigs to stand.

During the team’s visit to the GK community, they were greatly pleased and were so astonished with a view of a vegetable garden in front of the village with fruits growing already. A heart-warming site knowing the seed that the team gave them were planted and is now ready to serve their needs.

There were no garbage scattered, but the team has not yet observed the segregation of garbage. When asked, they said that they lack garbage cans. As of press time, the team had solicited several big garbage cans from a bakeshop, which shall be donated to the GK Village after it is been labeled according to the garbage it shall contain.

The team plans to visit again after two weeks to see how much the communities have improved especially on garbage segregation.

Generally, the team somehow brought an impact to its recipient community when it comes to proper garbage disposal. As to the vermi technology, there is a gradual decrease on the collection of kitchen wastes, garden trimmings and segregation at the start of implementation.

We Walk Our Talk

The Traslacion and Military Parade are two of the most attractive and festive activities during Penafrancia fiesta. It is during these two occasions that the metropolis teems with devotees, guests, and well wishers. It is also a moment in time when garbage remains immeasurable and unrestrained that the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) through its ‘Solid Waste’ finds these days most hectic and demanding especially the Solid Waste Management Unit, the unit that deals with daily extensive cleaning on major roads and collection of garbage from all sources.

The team’s drive towards a cleaner environment is contagious. As the entire City celebrates Peñafrancia festival, the team viewed an opportunity to help and so a clean-up drive was conducted during the two festive activities in the festival. The team joined the procession at its tail, while picking up garbage along the way, including slippers, shirts, and hankies and all sorts. The Solid Waste Management Unit staff and personnel are just right behind us.

The Military Parade is said to be the second highlight of the entire Peñafrancia Celebration, next to the Fluvial Procession, a convoy of small water transports led by the pagoda carrying the golden image of Nuestra Senora de Peñafrancia. The Military Parade is a prestigious competition among contingents from public and private schools in the Bicol Region. The march covers the Panganiban Avenue, General Luna Street, and Elias Angeles Street, having its finale at the Plaza Quezon Grandstand. Under the pricking heat of the sun, armed with surgical gloves, the team picked-up garbage on the streets at the midst of the marching participants! As expected, most plastic trashes come from food stuff wrappers. The team has compiled twenty two (22) garbage bags full of garbage. This time, however, the CENRO personnel were far behind us because with more than a hundred contingents, the event ended at 2 o’clock in the afternoon.

CONCLUSION

Young people are future leaders of society. The team’s initiative could facilitate in shaping their mind-set and develop deeper appreciation of meaningful and environment-friendly endeavors. These teens could eventually change social directions, policy/decision-making strategies, and economic development leading to a better society.

The different lecture-series conducted by the team have helped promote environmental education and awareness, and have let students and other grassroots communities understand the purpose of the project and realize the present state of our environment; and make people ponder on the common benefits gained from environmental protection and conservation.

The On-site activities done were to promote experiential learning, demonstrate and actualize the methods presented in the lecture series; and motivate them to appreciate and enjoy the “will-be” fruit of clean, green, sustainable environment.

In Naga City Science High School where most students come from well-to-do families, it was amusing teaching naguenians how to properly use garden tools. Indeed, experience is the best teacher. In the near future, we see these kids teaching the next generation the same experience they had learned about caring for the environment.

Barangay Ponong, has been a receptive community. Though they are aware of how their economic ways affect their natural resources, conservation and sustainable use of theses resources to improve livelihood prospects are yet to be dealt with. But as the team shared the same advocacy to this community, townsfolk are little by little finding ways and means to strike a balance between providing their households basic needs for survival and managing resources that they have in their environment for sustainability.

The Gawad kalinga site in Balatas, Naga City, has shown progress after the Vermi Culture Workshop conducted by the team. The vegetable garden that they have started after the workshop, is hoped to be a beginning for the community to change their ways of disposing garbage and start an environmentally healthy environment as what is stated in their 7 point vision. (http://gk1world.com/7pointvision)

As change starts from within’ individuals, the advocacy of the DPSA-CREST empowered by its own members would eventually reach and transpire to others. Sustaining the clean and green, if not zero-waste environment, solely depends on the cooperation of every individual to all programs geared towards it.

The quality of insights and learning that these children gained in the implementation of this Global Worming Initiative (GWI) can certainly not be quantified, but certainly will have an impact in the lives of people the team has touched.

With the success of the team’s Solid Waste Management Program in school and some barangays, and if the same best practice will be applied to different barangays in the city, hand-in-hand Nagueños can attain an environment of healthy people cohabiting in one ecosystem, the Naga City, to country, and if not to the whole world. Truly, Naguenians embodies the saying “Naga S.M.I.L.E.S. to the World.”

RECOMMENDATIONS

Achieving a garbage free environment is now within reach. But the team can only do so much. What it has started can only be sustained and extended to other communities with collaborative efforts from LGU, private and government organizations and agencies, and individuals as well. As the team’s advocacy is geared towards a garbage free environment, the team appeals that the following recommendations be considered:

While it is a known fact that ordinances have been formulated on proper garbage segregation and disposal, none of these are evidently implemented. All we need then is political will for our LGU officials to fully and seriously implement these ordinances. The suggestion of one of the garbage collectors to have a separate day for collection of biodegradable and non-biodegradable trash should also be given a priority by our ENRO chief.

The team owes its successful solid waste management practice to a worm they call “Super Vermi”. If this worm has touched naguenian lives, it may also have the same effect on others. Intensified media promotion on vermi-culture and vermi-technology should therefore be made as it may encourage more people to live a clean and healthy life.

For Barangay Ponong and other places where frequent flooding is a lingering dilemma and dampens the interest of residents to get into vegetable and crop production, a “Floating Garden” may be introduced. The team is actually exploring the possibilities of conducting a floating and hanging garden seminar workshop for Barangay Ponong. With the help of the Barangay council and other private organizations the team is hopeful that this may be possible. This strategy would place water hyacinth and some agricultural wastes in good light and better use. Also, this is one approach that could aid in attaining a garbage free environment and guarantee good food on the table. The availability of food source will certainly minimize further hunting of birds and excessive fishing.

Livelihood alternatives should also be developed and expanded to elevate economic conditions without depleting marine and wetland resources. Government leaders should focus on establishing flood-control paraphernalia to give Barangay Ponong and other communities along the river bank better options for agricultural pursuits without damaging the natural setting of the Bicol River. Collaborations with other town leaders on the management of solid wastes could also facilitate measures to block the proliferation of contaminants and pollutants into the waterways to give room for fish survival and production.

To better promote the advocacy, it is recommended that local government units should link to other LGUs, NGO and Peoples Organization of remote and depressed areas in Naga City and Camarines Sur to share and transfer best practices on solid waste management

For the Local government unit and the Department of Trade and Industry, the team also suggests creation of small-scale business utilizing renewable materials for livelihood projects, putting importance to vermiculture and organic gardening to not only provide additional source of income for the families but also a healthy and safe food on the table.

For the Department of Education, the team recommends that the department allows more exposure for students to regional, national, and international youth assemblies like eco-camps and the like as global ambassadors for ecological awareness. And because it is in school that young minds are shaped, a suggestion to make urban organic gardening a part of the curriculum in as early as primary schooling should be started, to build a character of a clean and green living to these young minds. Formulation of a Department OrderEd order specifically on proper garbage segregation and disposal should also be given a priority.

The team plans to assess the daily solid waste collection within the school, and will never stop to think of better remedies and recommend actions for a better waste management program.

The team also suggests publication of the comics using local dialect explaining the features and processes involve in vermi-technology and vermi culture. With help from major stakeholders of the school and the Local Government Unit of Naga, it is expected that said comics shall be distributed in the 27 barangays of the City in no time.

With these recommendations considered, the team is hopeful that a society living a clean, green and healthy environment is not far for the people of Naga, Camarines Sur or the entire region. With this we can proudly say that the clean and healthy “ORAGONS” are proud to SMILE to a clean and green world.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

As Naga City Science High School embarks on a new challenge, it is, but, fitting to start charity at home. For this year’s Doon Po Sa Amin Learning Challenge, the school, with its official entry titled: “Dahil Kay Vermi, Natuto Kami”, (The Teachings from the Book of Vermi) , shall showcase how a school-based solid waste management program was made possible through collaborated programs and projects of students and teachers of Naga City Science High School and how the team was able to share forward the advocacy of having a clean and green environment.

The introduction of Vermi-technology in the school has inflamed Naguenian1 spirits to think of and implement ways of segregating other campus wastes aside from wastes used for vermi-culture for productive means.

This research narrative hopes not just to make people aware, but more so, to instill more than to inform them of the need to advocate solid waste management as one most important program to help make the world a better place to live in.

As this research is presented, the team beseech that readers share forward the same advocacy that it adheres to. Find out more about the WORM STORY.

1 A name coined to refer to students of Naga City Science High School

DEFINITION OF TERMS:

1. African Night Crawlers (ANC)
-known scientifically as Eudrilus eugeniae, is considered as the most efficient epigeic or composting earthworm in the tropics (Guerrerro 2009)..

African nightcrawlers are copious producers of worm castings, which are body wastes used to enrich composts and soils for crop production.

2. Biodegradable
- The term biodegradable is used to describe substances that are capable of being broken down, or decomposed, by the action of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms.

3. Compost
- is a finely divided, loose material consisting of decomposed organic matter. It is primarily used as a plant nutrient and soil conditioner to stimulate crop growth.

4. Composting
- is the biological reduction of biosolids into a soil-like, nutrient-rich material.

5. Disposal
- the action or process of throwing away or getting rid of something

6. Gabion
- wicker basket filled with earth

7. Garbage
-wasted or spoiled food and other refuse, as from a kitchen or household.

8. Global Warming
- is understood to result from an overall, long-term increase in the retention of the sun’s heat around Earth due to blanketing by “greenhouse gases,” especially CO2 and methane. Emissions of CO2have been rising at a speed unprecedented in human history, due to accelerating fossil fuel burning that began in the Industrial Revolution.

9. Global Worming
- The cultivation and usage of worms in producing vermicast in vermitechnology to decompose the biodegradable materials to be used a organic fertilizer for the plants and to be able to help in reducing waste around us.

10. Hanging Vermi
- is a home for vermi(worms) that can be used as substitute for vermibin or vermiplots. The only difference is that they are hanged in a garden.

11. Non-biodegradable wastes
- is any discarded item that cannot be broken down by living organisms.

12. Organic Gardening
- Also known as organic horticulture; Organic farming is the process by which crops are raised using only natural methods to maintain soil fertility and to control pests.

13. Segregation
- shall refer to a solid waste management practice of separating, at the point of origin, different materials found in solid waste in order to promote recycling and re-use of resources and to reduce the volume of waste for collection and disposal;

14. Solid Waste
- shall refer to all discarded household, commercial waste, non-hazardous institutional and industrial waste, street sweepings, construction debris, agricultural waste, and other non-hazardous/non-toxic solid waste.

15. Solid Waste Management
- shall refer to the discipline associated with the control of generation, storage, collection, transfer and transport, processing, and disposal of solid wastes in a manner that is in accord with the best principles of public health, economics, engineering, conservation, aesthetics, and other environmental considerations, and that is also responsive to public attitudes;

16. Substrates
- The surface on or in which plants, algae, or certain animals, such as barnacles or clams, live or grow. A substrate may serve as a source of food for an organism or simply provide support; Food for the ANC.

17. Urban Gardening
- Urban gardening is the practice of growing vegetation in small or unusual spaces. Urban Gardening can include growing vegetables on your balcony or using a peculiar object to house your plants, such as a tire.

18. Vermi
- comb. form of L. vermis WORM

19. Vermibed
- Earthworm bed; series of layers of wastes and soil in a Vermiplot that act as the “bed” for the worms.

20. Vermicasts
- is the excreta of earthworm, which is rich in humus. It is an eco-friendly natural fertilizer prepared from biodegradable organic wastes and is free from chemical inputs.

21. Vermiculture
- Vermicomposting, or vermiculture, enlists a small army of worms to turn organic plant wastes (food parings, rinds, peels and lawn clippings, for instance) into rich plant food, known as "worm castings."

22. Vermiplot
- It is a structure or support where the worms live.

23. Vermitechnology
- is a method of converting all biodegradable waste such as farm wastes, kitchen wastes, market wastes, bio-wastes of agro-based industrial wastes, livestock wastes into useful products through the action of earthworms.

24. Waste Segregation
- is the process of dividing garbage and waste products in an effort to reduce, reuse and recycle materials.

25. Zero-Waste
- is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use.

Bibliography

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Schanaman, K. (n.d.). How to Raise African Nightcrawlers. Retrieved November 12, 2011, from Ehow: http://www.ehow.com/how_5597371_raise-african-nightcrawlers.html

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9. Rogier, M. (n.d.). About Non-Biodegradable Trash. Retrieved November 12, 2011, from Ehow: http://www.ehow.com/about_4568299_nonbiodegradable-trash.html

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12. http://www.chanrobles.com/republicactno9003.htm#ECOLOGICAL%20SOLID%20WASTE%20MANAGEMENT%20ACT%20OF%202000

13. http://www.chanrobles.com/republicactno9003.htm#ECOLOGICAL%20SOLID%20WASTE%20MANAGEMENT%20ACT%20OF%202000

14. “Substrates. (n.d.) The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. (2003). Retrieved November 12 2011 fromhttp://www.thefreedictionary.com/substrates

15. Vecchioni, H. (2011, April 2 ). How to Plant an Urban Garden. Retrieved November 12, 2011, from ehow: http://www.ehow.com/how_7583780_plant-urban-garden.html

16. T. F. HOAD. "Vermi-." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. 1996. Retrieved November 12, 2011 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O27-vermi.html

17. Sripada, M. (2011, February 1). What is Vermiculture? Retrieved November 12, 2011, from Organic Food Items and Food Adulteration FAQs: http://www.foodadulterationinfo.com/content/what-vermiculture

18. O'Neil, A. (n.d.). What is Vermicomposting? Retrieved November 12, 2011, from Ehow: http://www.ehow.com/about_5087497_vermicomposting.html

19. Prof. Kumar, A. (2005). Verms and Vermitechnology. page 9. Retrieved November 12, 2011, from Google Books: http://books.google.com.ph/books?id=ODwS49rFHeMC&pg=PA31&dq=verms+and+worms&hl=tl&ei=CVy_TpWZKsSiiAee7vywBg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=verms%20and%20worms&f=false

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COMMUNITY PROFILE

Naga City is about 377 kilometers south of Manila and nearly 100 kilometers north of Legazpi City. It has a total land area of 8,448 hectares with 27 barangays. On the year 2000, its estimated population is 139,775 Nagueños (people living in Naga City).

As a chartered city, one of its major environmental concerns is the growing volume of solid waste. Generally, these wastes come from various city establishments such as residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional.

Based on the 2009 estimates, Naga City generates approximately 85.8 tons of wastes annually, where 26% of these are agricultural waste. Food wastes make up 23% and paper-based materials is 12% of the total volume.

Pie Graph Distribution of Solid Waste Materials in Naga City

(Source: http://naga.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/chart.jpg)

SCHOOL BACKGROUND

Naga City Science High School was established as Naga City’s response to DECS Order No. 69, s. 1993, a call for the creation of Science Secondary Schools in the entire country. On the strength of Resolution No. 94-030, dated February 2, 1994, members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, on a joint and collective motion, unanimously authorized then city mayor Hon. Jesse M. Robredo, to negotiate with DECS, represented by the Schools Division Superintendent, Dr. Elena C. Tino. To operate the Science High School in Naga City, an appropriation of two million pesos was allotted for this purpose. Further, it passed Resolution No. 94-124 where it expressed its full and continuing support for the operation of the school.

In reciprocation to the efforts of the local government of Naga extended to the development and sustainability of Naga City Science High School, its school administrators and students pledged to be a support system of the city. NCSHS shall promote and support local programs especially city ordinances on environment and land use.

NCSHS staff and students, as one of the main contributors of paper, food, and plastic wastes, demonstrate their support to the local government of Naga by implementing environmental programs inside the school such as the Paper Drive, Waste Segregation movement, and Urban Gardening which will lessen the city wastes. It is hoped that the Solid Waste Management programs of the school will bear some impact in reducing solid waste of the city.

TEAM PROFILE