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Puerto Princesa, Palawan - In an exciting collaboration focused on uplifting local farming communities, Juana Fresh has teamed up with NCCC Supermarket and the Knorr product line of Unilever Philippines.

The recent partnership emphasizes a shared commitment to empowering farmers and ensuring the availability of fresh produce for the wider community. Juana Fresh's dedication to sourcing products from local farmers has made them a crucial link between agricultural producers and consumers in the region.

Representatives from Unilever Philippines, including Account Managers Shy Calamba and Kath Suarez, have expressed their enthusiastic support for this joint initiative, underscoring their dedication to sustainable and community-driven projects. NCCC Supermarket, a key player in the local retail industry, has also pledged its full support to Juana Fresh, amplifying its efforts to promote locally sourced goods and strengthen the region's agricultural ecosystem.

Janna Mutalib, the Marketing Manager of NCCC Supermarket, and Jofer Malolos, the Admin and finance Head of Juana Fresh, engaged in constructive dialogue about the expansion of the Share-a-Meal program, which aims to address food scarcity concerns in various Filipino communities. Their discussions revolved around ensuring a consistent supply of high-quality produce and supporting farmers in the region.

Juana Fresh's central role in facilitating partnerships between local farmers and prominent retailers like NCCC Supermarket highlights the cooperative's commitment to sustainable agriculture and community well-being. With the support of Unilever Philippines, renowned for its global sustainability efforts, this collaboration is expected to bring about positive changes in the local farming landscape and contribute to the region's economic development.

The collective effort of these organizations signifies a powerful stride towards sustainable agricultural practices and inclusive community development. By working together, they aim to create a more resilient and prosperous environment for local farmers and residents alike, fostering a stronger and more sustainable food ecosystem for the future.

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by Shellemai Roa

The recent visit to the US Capitol was nothing short of eye-opening and transformative. Standing amidst the rich history and heritage, I couldn't help but feel a profound sense of responsibility toward our mission to amplify our impact and uplift marginalized communities, fostering a future free from poverty.

Partnering with the dedicated team at Project Zacchaeus Eco Kolek, our vision extends beyond boundaries. Drawing inspiration from the developmental strides witnessed in the United States, our aim is to implement similar strategies back home in the Philippines. Our core focus remains on improving the lives of informal waste collectors while safeguarding the environment. Empowering these unsung heroes to become leaders in sustainable waste management is at the heart of our mission.

In the picturesque City of Puerto Princesa and across the scenic Province of Palawan, combatting waste-related challenges, particularly the menace of plastic pollution, has taken center stage. The ongoing discussions at the United Nations regarding the Plastic Treaty only reinforce the global urgency to tackle these issues collectively.

The invaluable experiences gained during this journey, coupled with unwavering support from mentors in the United States and the Philippines, have emboldened us to forge ahead with our vision. Our commitment to establishing a sustainable and impactful material management system has only grown stronger.

With heartfelt gratitude for the knowledge gained through the YSEALI Philippines YSEALI Professional Fellows Program, ICMA - International City/County Management Association, American Council of Young Political Leaders, U.S. International Exchange Alumni- Philippines, USAID Philippines, US State Department, and the #CCBO initiative, we look forward to driving positive change for our communities and the environment.

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The strategic collaboration between WWF and Eco Kolek took a significant stride forward with the "Tamang Isip at Gawi sa Pamamahala ng Basura para sa Malinis at Ligtas na Pamayanan" (Solid Waste Management Training), hosted at Riverside Hotel and Resort, Bgy. Marangas, Bataraza, Palawan from October 18 to 20, 2023.

This transformative event was meticulously designed to instill a deeper understanding of the critical nuances of effective waste management and its profound implications for environmental sustainability.

The training session, expertly facilitated by Eco Kolek's Administration and Finance Manager, Jofer Malolos, and MEL Officer/Capacity Building Specialist, Jan Aldwin Bermeo, was strategically designed to achieve a set of well-defined objectives. These objectives encompassed the imperative task of elevating participants' awareness regarding the detrimental consequences of inadequate waste management and plastic pollution.

Moreover, the training aimed to equip attendees with practical and sustainable waste management methodologies that could be seamlessly integrated into their daily routines, both in their professional and personal capacities.

A crucial component of the training involved guiding the participants through the process of evaluating and formulating their individualized solid waste management plans. By delving into the intricacies of waste management, the participants were empowered to identify key challenges and devise strategic plans tailored to their specific requirements.

The envisioned output of this training was to enable the participants to emerge with comprehensive and actionable solid waste management plans, serving as comprehensive guides in the seamless execution of their waste management initiatives.

The collaborative efforts between WWF and Eco Kolek symbolize a powerful alliance dedicated to driving sustainable change and fostering a culture of environmental consciousness and responsible waste management practices within local communities. This initiative stands as a resounding testament to the collective determination to build a greener and cleaner future, one step at a time.

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