Larga Sustainable Zarraga
The local government of Zarraga, civil society and piggery and poultry operators have committed to rid their town of flies and also make it a showcase of best practices in compost-making and organic farming.
This developed after residents complained of flies’ infestation and bad odor caused by the piggery and poultry businesses in the area.
To solve this, Mayor John Tarrosa of Zarraga called for a multi-sectoral workshop participated by village heads, businessmen, educators, environmentalists and government agencies last August 2-3 at the town’s gym.
The workshop was funded by the municipal provincial office and organized by MISSION (Movement of Imaginals for Sustainable Societies through Initiatives, Organizing and Networking).
MISSION pursues a tri-folding approach, where the political, cultural and economic sectors work together in achieving sustainability in a community. (Visit http://www.imaginalmission.net/web2.0/)During the workshop, Atty. Jonathan Sayno, head of the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Virgilio Fambromero, reminded the LGU and the operators that there are environmental laws that need to be implemented and followed in order to avoid sanctions which include business closure.
Fambromero said that before a business that has environmental impacts can operate, it has to secure an environmental clearance certificate, a mayor’s permit, sanitary permit and zoning clearance.
An ECC is issued by the DENR and the rest are issued by the LGU.
“Let’s not be stubborn as poultry and piggery operators and cause problems to the community. Let us not just think of profits at the expense of our environment. Let us remember our special contract (ECC),” Sayno warned.
Meanwhile, Dr. Clemencia Bondoc, municipal health officer explained that a fly carries millions of bacteria in its wings. She added that it has a habit of vomiting and defecating on food, leaving behind the toxins it got from dirty elements like animal waste, human feces, sputum, garbage, decaying fruits and vegetables, among others.
Fambromero also said that a fly can lay hundreds of eggs and these are hatched seven days later.
“That is why you have to clean your pig pens and poultry at least twice a week,” he said.
Msgr. Meliton Oso, head of the Jaro Social Action Center’s farm in Talibong, Zarraga said they spray a concoction on pig manure so that it will not emit a bad smell, apart from regular cleaning of the pig pens.
“Tatay Rudy”, caretaker of the said farm said they gather the pig’s manure and feed this to their worms, a process in making compost or “abono”.
“What’s most important here is management with a system. We need to be determined in managing the wastes of our animals,” he said.
Meanwhile, Gerry Garingalao of Nueva Valencia, Guimaras shared recipes in making the concoctions and compost out of animal wastes.
Some recipes were: Indigenous Micro Organism, Fermented Fruit Juice, Lactic Acid Bacteria Serum (LABS), and Oriental Herb Nutrient, among others.
POULTRY AND PIGGERY
Meanwhile, the piggery and poultry operators shared that flooding has aggravated their difficulty in controlling the bad smell emitted by their businesses.
Wet animal wastes emit bad odor, which attracts flies.
They also admitted that apart from the animal wastes, flies are also attracted on the feeds. Thus, they agreed to keep the feeds in a covered container as well as clean their structures 3 to 4 times a week.
At the end of the workshop the different sectors came up with their action plan.
The municipal officials said they will review the existing ordinances and monitor their implementation, create new ones, offer awards and merits to piggery and poultry operators engaged in best practices, and create Task Force Kalikasan, an advising body to give guidance and direction on how to improve hog and poultry raising activities.
Meanwhile, punong barangays proposed there should be mangrove, acacia and jackfruit tree planting, dredging of creeks and rivers to address flooding, massive information dissemination on proper waste disposal, and training on concoction making and waste management.
They also pledged to monitor piggery and poultry owners’ compliance of environmental laws.
The civil society group, meanwhile, will embark on information dissemination and trainings on health and sanitation.
The piggery and poultry owners, as a start, have agreed to form the Zarraga Poultry and Swine Operators Association and the election of officers will take place on August 10. After that, they will increase their technical knowledge on reducing flies infestation and waste management.
At the end of the workshop, the participants agreed on a battle cry for the town, which is “Larga Sustainable Zarraga.”
“We can manage our resources well and can have a very sound sold waste management system. We will turn this liability (flies, etc) into an asset. Our town is a small municipality but I’m very proud to say, give us time and Zarraga will be big, progressive, peaceful and community-development oriented. Our drive is to make Zarraga a place where everyone would like to live in,” Mayor Tarrosa said./Marie Katherine Villalon