MST-Bio students respond to growing demand for coastal services

A. O. de la Cruz · July 1st, 2017

The increasing man-made impacts and effects of climate change are making our coastlines more vulnerable to coastal erosion and flooding. These impacts are far-reaching and have caused a rise in sea level that puts at risk the lives, properties and livelihoods of coastal communities. In addition, they could further threaten valuable ecosystems and damage industries, such as fishing and tourism.The increasing man-made impacts and effects of climate change are making our coastlines more vulnerable to coastal erosion and flooding. These impacts are far-reaching and have caused a rise in sea level that puts at risk the lives, properties and livelihoods of coastal communities. In addition, they could further threaten valuable ecosystems and damage industries, such as fishing and tourism.

In response to the growing demand for coastal services, the MST-Biological Science students, through the direct supervision of Dr. Shella B. Cacatian, Campus Coordinator for Research and Faculty of the Graduate School, conducted a seminar on Ecological Waste Management for the residents of Barangay Nagtupacan in Pamplona in time of the commemoration of its Barangay Fiesta on June 26-30, 2017.  It was attended by a total of 35 barangay folks. Nagtupacan was chosen as the recipient barangay because of its accessibility and of its nonexistence of similar activities implemented.

The resource speakers were Mr.  Rowel Y. Monje, Mr. Roland R. Agra and Mr. Mario Antonio P. Sepe, MST – Biological Science students.

Mr. Monje discussed the overview of the activity.  He provided necessary information on why everyone should urgently abide with the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 or RA 9003. Mr. Agra highlighted the important provisions of the Act, the mandatory collection and segregation of solid wastes, and the establishment of materials recovery facility (MRF) in every barangay.  He further said that even wastes should be segregated at the household level, and during collection, all wastes should not be placed together in the same compost pit, otherwise, segregation becomes useless.  On the other hand, Mr. Sepe discussed other provisions of R.A. 9003 and urged everyone to work together to help the Barangay officials comply with the requirements of RA 9003.

During the seminar, the barangay officials shared that waste segregation in the barangay was enforced poorly.  “There must be strong community involvement if we want to promote cleanliness in our barangay,” says Mrs. Jesusa M. Rodriguez, Barangay Captain of Nagtupacan.  She adds, “Waste segregation costs nothing and takes barely any extra time.”

Flyers, giving emphasis on the benefits of effective segregation of waste, were produced and distributed to the barangay folks. Waste bins were also distributed to make sure they are properly disposing their trash. To regulate the impact of coastal flooding and erosion, the students planted Palomaria and Coconut trees along the shoreline.

The Barangay folks were very grateful of this move. “Ignoring this move would lead to a wrong decision which, in turn, could threaten the health of our coastal ecosystems,” says Councilor Divina M. Torres.