Local government units (LGUs) have been pressed by the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) to adopt a solid waste management system through charcoal briquetting that can earn for them equivalent “carbon credits.”
Charcoal briquetting will also enable many LGUs to comply with the Solid Waste Management Act (SWMA). Many LGUs have not yet complied with SWMA of year 2000, also Republic Act 9003, almost 20 years now since it was ratified.
An intensive training and a possible supply chain linkage is offered by ERDB to LGUs through a charcoal briquetting program.
This produces charcoal without having to cut trees. Thus, it can earn for LGUs equivalent “carbon credits” under possible new carbon finance schemes of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or UNFCCC.
ERDB Executive Director Henry Adornado, a doctor, expressed satisfaction that ERDB’s research on the production of charcoal briquette has reached a success level for small communities including one in Barangay Lower Bicutan C6, Taguig City.
“We are open to sharing the technology to any sector interested in learning from us. We provide trainings and free demo as part of our collaborative program in technology transfer and extension,” said Adornado.
LGUs can raise funding specifically from this program which fits under a potentially new UNFCCC financing incentive for reducing deforestation.
It is called Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), expected to be approved by the end of the year.
The need for fuelwood in many Filipino households has led charcoal-fuelwood producers to cut trees. They destroy forests including virgin forests, consequently emitting carbon dioxiode.
The ERDB initiated training for a program on charcoal briquetting in Brgy. Lower Bicutan C6 that has generated jobs for persons with disability (PWDs).
“We’re glad that this success story can inspire many other grassroots communities to venture into charcoal briquetting. If persons with disabilities can succeed in it, why can’t anyone else?” said Adornado.
The PWDs are now renting a small charcoal briquette factory in an estimated 200 square meter site in Taguig City.
Members of the Samahan ng May Kapansanan sa Taguig (Samakat) are using ERDB’s charcoal briquetting technology as an environment friendly way to supply wood for cooking in Taguig parish communities.
After an intensive skills training, SAMAKAT PWDs acquired the ERDB-developed machinery through the financial assistance of Pondo Pinoy of a Taguig Catholic parish.
The machineries are a carboni¬zer, mixer, briquettor, and dryer. Among the jobs for 12 PWDs raw material gathering and simple machinery operation.
Women PWDs also get hired for packaging. A 24-piece briquettte is sold at P20 per pack and generates an income of around P100 per day for each PWD, according to Samakat President Mario Galvez
The ERDB charcoal is more cost efficient than ordinary charcoal and emits a steady heat with low clean flame. The charcoal is easy to ignite.
“Charcoal briquetting has given new lives for people like us. Now, persons with disability can look up because they have a contribution to society,” said Galvez, himself an orthopedic PWD.
A training session on producing environment-friendly charcoal was held three years ago by ERDB Researcher Engr. Santiago Baconguis Jr.
Baconguis introduced the techniques on how to come up with charcoal briquettes from various biodegradable waste materials. These waste materials have now become of huge economic value.
Among the waste materials that Samakt uses are from buko juice merchants and water hyacinth (water lily) directly gathered from the Laguna Lake.
Compliance to the SWMA has been a challenge for many municipal, city and provincial governments.
And ERDB could be of assistance in managing their wastes using DENR-ERDB’s CBT.