On the morning of December 19th, the members of Iloilo city cluster fetched the participants of the Kaon Ka, Tanom Ta project from Brgy Cochero, and they went to visit Brgy. Salacay. Located in the nearby town of Cabatuan, Pototan, Salacay was a community that had received awards for it’s waste management and communal gardening projects. The members of the cluster conducted this visit in hope that the participants from Cochero would be inspired by this example, and return with fresh ideas and enthusiasm for improving their baranggay.
The group arrived at Salacay at for lunch after a long and exciting drive, which included driving through a river. After lunch, Brgy captain Lida Libiano shared the story of the community’s success. She spoke about the baranggay’s humble beginnings and it’s transformation into an award winning community. Their success began with the establishment and enforcement of several ordinances that prioritized proper waste management. They had set at least 5 ordinances detailing the disposal and segregation of the community’s waste. To enforce this, the baranggay set up many clearly marked trash bins, and also organized weekly collections. These ordinances were successful due to mindful assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation. Kap Lida and her tanods personally monitored the residents, ensuring that they conformed to the new system. Two profitable projects that arose from this system were “May kwarta sa Basura”, which made goods such as bags out of recyclable trash, and the community vermicompost, which was the foundation of their communal garden. The community has receieved several certificates of appreciation from various government organizations of Iloilo, recognizing the work they have done towards sustainability and environmentalism. They were also able to establish a 2 hectare organic farm sponsored by SM, where they grow vegetables which are then purchased by the grocery chain.
Afterwards, the group met and planned out the activities for the Cochero participants’ communal garden over the holiday. Kap. Teresita showed that she was very energized and inspired by the visit, and was excited to take steps towards improving Cochero’s waste management and community gardens, mirroring the commitment, passion and methods that made Salacay’s programs so successful. The activity was a great success and served the purpose of showing the residents of Cochero an ideal that they can strive towards. When the group returned home, they were each gifted a set of gardening tools, with which to make their dreams into a reality.