To mark the 5th anniversary of her various projects in Baseco Compound, which she intends to turn into a “model community,” Senator Cynthia Villar recently led a clean-up activity in the area.
Since 2015, Villar has been returning to the congested Baseco in Gasangan, a coastal community along Manila Bay, to conduct monthly cleanup and tree-planting activities, and to check on the progress of the construction of toilets and status of the various livelihood projects she established for the residents.
Villar adopted this area of Gasangan in a bid to make the compound a model community rehabilitation project and site for urban agriculture and aquaculture.
Villar, chairperson of the Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Climate Change, expressed her gratitude to individuals and groups who contributed to the success of the projects.
“Looking back, rehabilitating Baseco looked like a daunting task but your continued cooperation encouraged me to carry on. It’s still a long way to go but as you can see, we are starting to reap the benefits of our initial steps,” Villar said, addressing the volunteers from partner organizations gathered for the activity.
Through the help of the Bureau of Soils and Waste Management, Villar established urban gardens in the area, which have been the source of vegetables for residents’ own consumption and livelihood.
Recycling projects were also initiated in the area provided by the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission.
Mangroves were also planted in the area to serve as natural barriers that will protect the community in the event of storm surges.
Aquaculture was also introduced in the area with the help of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources,, which provided the training and distributed fishing boats and tri-bikes to the residents.
At the beginning of the projects, Villar also took the initiative to pave the street and build a communal septic tank. She also sought the commitment of authorities for the regular collection of garbage to prevent solid waste accumulation in Manila Bay. Macon Ramos-Araneta
After Villar raised the issue of poor sanitary conditions in Baseco, the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, the City of Manila and Maynilad came together to launch the “Zero Open Defecation for Baseco Compound” project in May 2017.
The project aims to construct 5,000 toilets for 80% of the residents who have no access to sanitary toilet facilities.
The Nacionalista Party senator was joined by representatives of partner-organizations DOH, DSWD, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, BFAR, Bureau of Soils and Water Management, Department of Education, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Maynilad, Kabalikat sa Kaunlaran ng Baseco, MBC-DZRH, and Gasangan barangay officials.
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