Basey Samar mayor Igmedio  “Junji Ponferrada” (2nd from left) and UNDP country director (center) led the ribbon cutting during the turn-over ceremony of the typhoon-resilient two-storey vocational skills training center held at the Government Center, Basey Samar, Nov. 23. Also in photo are (l-r) vice-mayor Ramon Lancanan, Michelle Apostol of COICA and TESDA 8 regional director Cleta Omega. (Raul S. Tiozon, Jr./PIA-8)

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, Nov 24(PIA) — Super typhoon Yolanda may have a disastrous effect to stricken-areas like the municipality of Basey in Samar province, however, it has also brought some positive outcomes.

In his acceptance speech, Basey Mayor Igmedio Ponferrada emphasized this in front of the donors and the benefactors of the KOICA-UNDP disaster-resilient manpower training center and the Basey ecological park which were formally turned over yesterday to the local government unit of Basey.

“I am not saying that I am thanking Yolanda because of the disastrous effect to the lives and properties of our people, but without Yolanda we could not have this project now,” Ponferrada said. LGU Basey has shown willingness to implement the provisions of the republic act 9003 otherwise known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 despite difficulties encountered after Yolanda struck the region in November 8, 2013.

He likewise expressed his warmest gratitude and sincere appreciation to Korea International Cooperation Agency(KOICA) and the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) for the continued support that led to the completion of the projects with a promise to improve the practice of waste management in the locality.

On her part, Environmental Management Bureau(EMB) region 8 director Leticia Maceda conveyed her message to the LGU Basey through her representative Corazon Dacuyan who was quite elated upon knowing that the LGU Basey has already taken steps to protect the environment.

As EMB intensifies it campaign on ecological solid waste management, LGU Basey has already created its municipal solid waste management board, formulated the ten-year solid waste management plan, conducted trainings on solid waste management at the barangay level and encouraged its consultants to practice the three R’s which stands for reuse, recycle and reduce as well as clean-ups.

“It is good to note that the officials in the national government, the local government units and the private sectors are showing positive response in matters concerning proper solid waste management as reflected in the growing number of environmentally-conscious locals, in leading and inspiring others to do efforts to promote eco waste management activities such as segregation, segregated collection, recycling, and composting,” she said.

The Basey ecological park which has a total land area of 46, 000 sq. m. is an integration of facilities, a one-stop shop for waste recycling and disposal for the municipality of Basey and neighboring residents. It includes a state-of-the-art sanitary landfill for municipal solid waste, centralized materials recovery facility, composting area and waste water treatment facility while the Basey Manpower Training Center which was obliterated by Yolanda in 2013 is a two-storey, typhoon resilient structure with a total floor area of 1, 296 sq. m.

The center will offer TESDA-accredited courses for Samareños to undergo skills training that will pave the way for more job opportunities. The construction of the disaster-resilient facilities is part of the KOICA’s package of assistance implemented through UNDP’s Programme “Support to Typhoon Recovery and Resilience in the Visayas” to help Yolanda-affected areas. (ajc/cba/PIA8)