Circular Cities: Best Practices and Opportunities for Public-Private Initiatives

16 March 2023 – MBC and the Embassy of the Netherlands in the Philippines held the second installment of their Circular Economy Forum Series on “Circular Cities: Best Practices and Opportunities for Public-Private Initiatives”

For this session, Mayor Jerry Treñas of Iloilo City and Mayor Galicano Truita of the Municipality of Dauin shared their success stories and current initiatives on waste management and circular economy. This was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Ms. Koleen Davila-Palaganas, SM Investments’ VP of Sustainability.

Mayor Jerry Treñas “[invites] the business sector to engage with the LGUs and invest in development because there is so much that can be accomplished together for our future generations.” Mayor Treñas also emphasizes the importance of holistically considering the environmental, social, and economic implications of innovative projects, and remembering that “governance is a shared responsibility between the governors and the governed.”

Mayor Galicano Truita delves deep into what made Apo Island successful in becoming the Philippines’ first zero-waste island. Mayor Truita notes that “an important part of the work was the information, education, and communication campaign.” For Apo Island, this included engaging with the community through door-to-door visits and informing the “residents on zero-waste, their responsibilities, and the importance of segregation. This also includes signage to raise awareness among residents and tourists.”

In the discussion with Ms. Davila-Palaganas, the panel highlighted the value of tapping the bayanihan spirit of the Filipinos to support trash segregation and spur behavioral change. Similarly, rethinking the system, bringing in technical knowledge, and learning from each other through PPPs are important steps to take. Both Iloilo City and Apo Island of Dauin are proof that successful waste management and taking steps towards a circular economy are possible in the Philippines.

This forum is an activity under the Circular Economy Program, a joint initiative of MBC and the Embassy of the Netherlands to inspire corporate action and private-public partnerships toward the transition to a circular economy. This means a firm commitment of the business sector to achieving plastic neutrality.