Eastern Samar town gets school construction materials in exchange for biomass

October 2, 2014 1:36 am 

By Jade D. Miguel

MANILA, Oct 1 (PNA) — The Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (OPARR) and the town of Lawaaan in Eastern Samar has partnered with a conglomerate ceramics company to provide construction materials for schools under the "Adopt-a-School program."

In their Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with OPARR and the municipality of Lawaan, the Siam Cement Group and its subsidiary, Mariwasa Siam Ceramics Company, will donate construction materials for the schools in Lawaan in exchange for biomass including coconut trees felled or damaged by typhoon "Yolanda" (Haiyan) in November last year.

Lawaan is a fifth class municipality in Eastern Samar which has been one of the areas greatly affected by typhoon "Yolanda."

Under the "Adopt-a-School program" in the agreement, the ceramics company will be donating quality building materials such as tiles, concrete roofing, building boards, and sanitary wares for schools and day-care facilities provided that the beneficiary community will raise a specific amount of biomass for Mariwasa Siam’s heat generation facility.

“This endeavor combines notions of self-help, our community-driven and community-centered approach to rehabilitation and recovery, corporate social responsibility and green growth.” OPARR Secretary Panfilo Lacson said in a statement.

Biomass is a biological waste derived from plants or animals. At present, wood remains to be the largest biomass energy source which includes forest residues (such as dead trees, branches and tree stumps), yard clippings, wood chips and even municipal solid waste.

“Communities of the Yolanda Corridor will be able to free up more land for resettlement by clearing out vast areas ridden with felled and damaged coconut trees, encourage and help spread the word about sustainable energy, and support the private sector in providing green energy to their own communities. What is more, they earn from their activities through trade and barter, use their new construction materials to build homes of their choosing, and ultimately restore livelihood of coconut-dependent communities,” Lacson added.

The initiative is also asking the help of the Philippine Coconut Authority in bringing in more sector partners in the activity.

The program will run for six months targeting to transform at least 50 percent of the 356,580 felled coconut trees as biofuel for Mariwasa Siam’s 45-Megawatt heat generation facility.

The agreement aims to generate livelihood activities for Yolanda survivors through entrepreneurship and regular trade. By collecting their own biomass suitable for Mariwasa's heat generation, they could trade it at a rate of Php 0.75 per kilogram.

“We take great strides in bringing together cross-sector experts, private enterprises, local government leaders and community members for the purpose of sharing sustainable, innovative strategies to make our communities resilient to disaster. Green energy and biofuel are important to our vision to build back better, safer, and faster,” Lacson said. (PNA)

/JDM

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