The Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) bagged six (6) awards during the Bangon Kabuhayan Awarding ceremony held in Ramada Binondo Central, Binondo, Manila on 13 November 2015. The said activity was organized by the Sustainable Livelihood Program- National Program Management Office (SLP-NPMO) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The region was recognized due to the livelihood project being implemented in the municipality of Bontoc in Mountain Province.

Dubbed as “Pathways to Progress: Eco-brick and Eco-block making for Residual Wastes”, the livelihood project which was conceptualized by the Local Government Unit of Bontoc to address their problem in waste management was awarded the Most Environmentally Friendly Project besting 13 other projects from other regions in the country. To ensure that enough raw materials will be collected for the project, the LGU started to implement Oplan Pera sa Basura (OPSB) wherein all elementary and high schools in the municipality collected recyclable wastes.

Through the SLP, the said project was provided with Php 1 million seed capital which was used to purchase equipment such as plastic shredder and metal forms.

The Senior Citizens Federation of Bontoc also signed a MOA with the Provincial Jail allowing the inmates to serve as the project’s labor force in the production of eco-bricks and eco-blocks. With this, the project was conferred with the Best Livelihood Project for Special Sector.

“This income generating project for us Senior Citizens in the inmates makes us happy and productive. It gives me more motivation to work harder and to encourage other members to get involved.” Senior Citizens Federation of Bontoc President Elizabeth Longid said.

The project that originally aimed to help address waste management issues has developed into an income generating activity for the senior citizens and the inmates. Thus, it has been awarded as the Best Regional Microenterprise Project.

People’s Choice Award for Microenterprise Development track and Best Regional Partner for LGU-Bontoc were also given.

“We are grateful to the DSWD for recognizing our community in its efforts for solid waste management and livelihood. Out senior citizens have indeed put to heart our community’s battle cry, “Let us all be part of the solution”. We hope other LGUs will also see the value of partnering with the various sectors as well as with NGAs in uplifting the life of the people”, Bontoc Mayor Franklin Odsey shared.

Meanwhile, SLP Project Development Officer Chalikis Alawas was recognized as the Best Project Development Officer.

“We are greatly honored and delighted with the recognitions that our region has received through our partnership with the people of Bontoc. The recognitions prove that development need not to have negative effects with our environment and that problems will be easier to solve if we come together and converge our efforts. We hope that more partnerships will prosper for us to further facilitate improvement in the lives of the Cordillera people.”, DSWD-CAR Regional Director Janet P. Armas said.

The Bangon Kabuhayan Awards aim to feature outstanding enterprise and employment initiatives supported by the Sustainable Livelihood Program and its partners. It provides opportunity for the program implementers to share good practices in program implementation. It is also a venue to recognize key stakeholders that provide support to the program. # DSWD-CAR, Social Marketing Unit, Nerizza Faye G. Villanueva

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