MANILA – Five organizations with programs that aim to address plastic pollution in Philippine waters were awarded grants worth USD890,000 or nearly PHP42 million by the United States government through the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID).
During the program’s virtual launch on Thursday, the USAID awarded the grants to the Communities Organized for Resource Allocation (CORA) for a project in Parañaque City, the Catholic Relief Services for its Manila City project, Green Antz Builders Inc. for a project in Pasig City, the Plastics Credit Exchange for its project in Manila City, and Project Zacchaeus for its undertaking in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
The grants serve as the “first wave” of support provided by the USAID that will pilot solutions to stop the flow of plastics to waters within and surrounding the Philippines.
According to a 2015 McKinsey and Company study, a total of 2.7 million tons of plastic are generated in the Philippines each year, with about 20 percent ending up in the ocean.
Through these grants, the USAID partners with local and international organizations to test new models to increase recycling rates, reduce landfill waste and leakage into nearby bodies of water, and improve community livelihoods.
US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John Law said the program signifies the US’ commitment to the country.
“The United States is a committed ally and partner of the Filipino people in protecting the country’s rich marine ecosystems and resources for the benefit of present and future generations,” Law said.
To date, the USAID’s Clean Cities, Blue Ocean program is working in several countries around the world and was launched in the Philippines in late 2019 to support the national government in advancing solid waste management. (PNA)