World Vision, EcoWaste unite to empower waste disposal workers

Published September 20, 2020, 2:10 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

World Vision and EcoWaste Coalition are working together to empower waste disposal workers and their communities, while tackling health and environmental issues associated with waste management, especially during the pandemic.


With funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Global Development (BMZ), World Vision and EcoWaste are implementing the PHINLA Project, coined from the name of the countries where the project is being implemented, namely the Philippines, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka.

It seeks to empower waste workers and communities affected by poor waste management by using waste as a resource to create meaningful employment and to earn income while tackling health and environmental issues associated with waste management.

A compliance audit on 178 local government units showed that from 2011 to 2017, 27.53 percent did not comply with regulations for segregation at source while 23.03 percent did not comply with regulations on segregated collection.

In Barangay Cugman, Cagayan de Oro City, Mindanao, one of the project’s main initiatives, to date, involved organizing the waste workers association and training them to create a better collection system and materials recovery facility for the community.

People from the village, mostly volunteers who identify themselves as eco warriors, do daily house to house waste collection using the 17 pedicabs and five motorbikes that the PHINLA project provided them.

To further help them earn income in this phase of the project, the village created an incentives-based system depending on the weight of the recyclables collected to encourage the practice of proper waste segregation.

On the next phase of the project, PHINLA will help the village establish the waste collectors’ association as a business enterprise, functioning and earning income on its own to provide salary for waste workers.

Since the group of waste workers was officially organized on the first week of August 2020, significant changes have been observed.

The community used to collect garbage using just one garbage truck. It would take them at least four to five hours for collection alone.

With 17 pedicabs, they can now collect simultaneously, saving them time and delivery to the materials recovery facility (MRF) situated on top of the mountains is made easier with the use of the motorbikes.