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December 13, 2014
World Bank funds community initiatives in La Carlota through carbon credits earned by Roxol
Most ethanol distilleries in the Philippines allow untreated wastewater to flow into open, anaerobic lagoons, which emit methane into the atmosphere; methane not only gives off a noxious smell but is also a potent greenhouse gas. Furthermore, the steam boilers in distilleries typically use bunker fuel oil, which is readily available but very bad for the environment. Roxol goes the extra mile towards the sustainability of its operations.
Aside from reducing GHG emissions, the project is improving the environment and health of the local community. The use of this advanced, closed anaerobic waste water treatment system, along with the use of an evaporator-drier and recirculation system, will limit bad odor and eliminate all wastewater discharged into a nearby river.
The project also aims to provide benefits to local communities around the plant site through its Community Benefits Plan (CBP), funded by a price premium attached to each carbon credit generated by the project.
The rural communities were identified as target beneficiaries because they are considered some of the poorest—more than 40 percent of the 832 families earn less than PhP 3,000 per month. In addition, these communities have limited access to basic social services and economic infrastructure. Their main source of income is tied to agriculture, primarily sugar plantation and milling, which is seasonal work. These poor communities have benefited from activities aimed at building grassroots organizations’ capacity, offering educational and vocational technical assistance and opportunities; providing medical and dental health services, including a nutrition program that targets malnourished children; and setting up a micro lending program to spur new economic activities such as opening a sari-sari (convenience) store.
Four classrooms and three daycare centers were rehabilitated around the district. The Head Teacher of Bucalan Elementary School in RSB said that the rehabilitation of his classroom has made it more conducive to learning. He also noticed that the students were more actively participating in classroom discussions after the roofs have been and windows have been repaired.
10 non-motorized wooden boats, 14 non-motorized fiber glass boats, and 8 motorized fiber glass boats were donated to the the Fisherfolks Association of Pontevedra. This was turned over directly to them to ensure that the licensed fishermen will benefit from the donated fishing boats. Also, this is to ensure proper monitoring will be done, as the Barangay Captain also happens to be a member of the association. Fiber glass boats have an average lifespan of around 15 years, assuring the sustainability of the project for the succeeding years. The fisher folks are looking forward to experiencing the increase in income as a result of the project.
A pond in Embarcadero with an area of 1,600sq.m. was rehabilitated for the benefit of the surrounding community. 1,500 fingerlings were provided and cultured in the pond and a total of 300kilos or PHP27,800.00 worth of bangus had been produced for the previous year, which was split 20% to RFI, 30% to the community fund and 50% to the caretaker. The 20% portion of RFI shall be used to replenish the fingerlings, which cements the concept of sustainability of the project. This year, 2,000 fingerlings shall be provided.
Mangrove planting in Purok Lourdes has been going on for two years now, and has greatly helped the fishermen in the area. Nelson Gomez, President of the Small Fishermen Association, said that the mangroves serve as food and breeding grounds for the fish, thus multiplying their catch and even their variety.
More community members are made aware of the existence of CBP Projects in their communities and even more are empowered to contribute in their respective ways.