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On Earth Day, 16-year-old Mary Ann Sinoy presented Mayor Edward Hagedorn a souvenir key chain made of recycled material in her barangay, Sta. Lourdes, after the launching rites of the Materials Recovery Facilities Program. The community project promotes recycling and aims for zero-waste in seven pilot barangays initiated by the city government, with the cooperation of the Mother Earth Foundation.

Appreciative of the ‘small gift’, Mayor Hagedorn asked the incoming high school senior, to produce more of the souvenir items. “I’ll provide you the capital,” he told the obviously overwhelmed girl as he fished out of his pocket some bills which he gave to the happily surprised teener. You produce these items and we will buy them from you to be given as souvenirs to our city visitors, Mayor Hagedorn added.

The item is made of recycled materials, like the other souvenir items displayed at the barangay booth where dozens of products from tin foil used as fruit juice packs, chips bags and other non-biodegradable waste materials are converted as cash-from-trash products.

The mayor, interviewed shortly via telephone on local radio, said the gesture to assist Mary Ann is part of his thrust to make young people of Puerto Princesa become enterprising and productive citizens of the community.

“I did not expect this,” said, the girl, whose mother is a producer of recycled materials adding that the mayor’s action has inspired her to to pursue more creative and enterprising activities so that the young people of her barangay will become more useful persons.


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