Sen. Cynthia Villar outlinesfarmers’ gains in composting


SEN. Cynthia Villar aired high hopes Monday that everyone will share her intense passion in promoting composting with the almost triple increase in the cost of chemical fertilizers.

Noting the spike—from P934 average in 2019 to P2,134.64 average in 2022—Villar projected this “will minimize the farmer’s use of costly fertilizers.”

The senator pointed out that “with the country’s dependence on imported fertilizers, the current global demand greatly affects the entry of fertilizer imports in our country.”

She observed that this “caused limited local fertilizer supply that influenced the escalation of local prices.”

During the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) celebration of the World Soil Day 2022 on Monday, Villar reminded that the World Soil Day is held annually to “focus attention on the importance of healthy soil and to advocate for the sustainable management of soil resources.”

She pointed out that the global theme for this year’s celebration, “Soils: Where food begins,” was intended to “raise awareness of the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems.”

Villar assured “this can be done by addressing the growing challenges in soil management, increasing soil awareness and encouraging societies to improve soil health.”

For its part, the Food and Agriculture Organization noted that if the soils are not managed sustainably, fertility is progressively lost, and soils will produce nutrient-deficient plants.

“Soil nutrient loss is a major soil degradation process threatening nutrition. It is recognized as being among the most critical problems at a global level for food security and sustainability,” Villar said.

In her hometown Las Piñas, Villar recalled she started her composting project in 2002 that enabled the local government unit to save more than P300 million annually from recycling 75 percent of their wastes, where 50 percent are kitchen and garden wastes into organic fertilizer.

She reported that the Villar SIPAG, the Corporate Social Responsibility of Vista Land, has established 118 composting facilities—67 in 20 barangays in Las Piñas and 50 in Vista Land communities nationwide.

The senator noted that composting contributes to the promotion of organic farming in the Philippines as farmers are among the main beneficiaries of this compost.

“The project touches the lives of many vegetable enthusiasts interested in home gardening, the farmers and private individuals for they can avail of free organic fertilizer together with vegetable seeds for their farms or backyard garden,” Villar, who sits as chairperson of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.

She recalled that just recently, the Villar SIPAG’s Las Piñas Kitchen Wastes Composting project won the Energy Globe Award after being recognized as one of the “World’s Best Environmental Projects” after being recognized for its significant contributions and sustainable efforts to protect preserve and save the environment.

At the same time, Villar also thanked the BSWM for helping promote composting. She said the P1.1-billion fund for a composting program, which formerly remained unused, has now moved with the BSWM completing the procurement process.