Project Zacchaeus in partnership with USAID Clean Cities Blue Ocean (CCBO), and its cooperating partners - the Barangay Bancao-Bancao LGU, City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and the City Government of Puerto Princesa joined hands for the groundbreaking ceremony of Project Eco Kolek’s consolidation area facility on March 24, 2022, at Bancao-Bancao, Puerto Princesa City.
The 1,000-square meter consolidation area will house machines and equipment to sort, clean, shred and compact collected plastics for further processing and turn them into new items with a partner upcycling company in Manila.
“Our dream is that someday we can move our Eco Warriors where they can have a better home, have their children in a good school, and serve them better in this kind of industry. Our empowered Eco Warriors will run this facility with us and they will be our future managers,” said John Vincent Gastanes, Founder of Project Zacchaeus during his welcome remarks.
The said facility will also house a training hub for the continuous learning of the Eco Warriors and further upscale their competence and knowledge in waste collection and segregation.
“We truly hope that this is going to be a sustainable enterprise for all the Eco Warriors and that you are going to be able to expand your area and your coverage to be able to collect all wastes and get through following the management here in the beautiful City of Puerto Princesa,” said John Edgar, Environment Office Chief, USAID Philippines.
The event was followed by a short formal launching ceremony of the 60 Eco Warriors who will be at the forefront of all collection efforts to households and business establishments which will be made initially in pilot areas within identified communities, and soon in more expansive routes within Puerto Princesa City.
Other guests present during the event were John Angin, USAID CCBO Chief of Party, Renerio Acosta, CCBO Asia Regional Director, Marian Navata, USAID Urban Planning Specialist, Bryan Stirrat, Tetra Tech Managing Director, Claire Bea, US Embassy Environment, Science and Technology, and Health Officer, Melinda Donelly, Tetra Tech Director of Program Coordination, External Affairs, and Communications, and other CCBO Team Members, and Barangay Councilor JR John Garcia representing Barangay Captain Gayjun Dangan of Bancao-Bancao LGU.