DENR’s competition aims to tap creative side of the young ones and increase awareness on proper solid waste management

A 12-year-old from Antique created a toy robot made of recycled and residual materials to highlight the importance of proper solid waste management.

John Dave Pilarca, a 12-year old from Antique province won as the regional winner with his entry titled “Robo ‘Cap’: The Environment Saver” during the Department of Environment and Natural Resources “Make Your Own Toys Contest”.

This nationwide competition among children aged 7 to 12 years old encouraged upcycling (the use of recyclable and residual materials) in creating children’s toys. The contest prohibits entries that included scraps from commercially available toys.

The criteria include originality and creativity, execution, the impact of the toy, and wise use of materials.

John Dave Pilarca bested five other entries from Western Visayas. “Amo gid ri-a akon hilig. Super happy gid ako pagdaog ko,” Pilarca said in Kinaray-a when he learned that he won at the regional level.

The regional winners were given a consolation prize of P 2,500 each while the National Grand Champion from Cagayan Valley received P20,000.

Benefits of upcycling

Upcycling is one good way to reduce the number of wastes being dumped in landfills. It also teaches the young ones the value of practicing proper waste segregation which is per Republic Act No. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

According to Future Learn, there are social and economic benefits from upcycling. These include promotion of craftsmanship, supporting the local and rural industry, and reduction of manufacturing costs.

The personal benefits include doing one’s share to protect the earth, honing one’s repair skills, and creating one-of-a-kind items such as the toys made by the contestants.

“We are happy to start educating the young ones on the importance of proper solid waste management. I hope they would remember the lessons and make it their lifestyle to be environmentally conscious,” said DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Livino Duran.

Proper Solid Waste Management is one of the top ten priority programs of DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu that encourages all sectors to work together for a cleaner country./DENR 6