Pasig micro-entrepreneurs get boost through waste-to-cash program

Dec 02, 2021


MANILA, Philippines — Women micro-entrepreneurs in Pasig City may now exchange their collected plastic waste for cash as the local government signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on Thursday for the program’s implementation.

Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto and Plastic Credit Exchange (PCX), in support of PepsiCo, inked the MOA for the Aling Tindera, a waste-to-cash program developed by PCX.

“In this program, we are working with a network of women micro-entrepreneurs—so, these are sari-sari store owners, small business owners—who will become our partners on a plastic waste-to-cash program,” PCX Standards and Compliance Manager Richard de Guzman explained during a virtual MOA signing event.

Sotto said the city government recognized that plastic waste increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we had to deal with COVID-19 and deal with the challenges of COVID-19, we’ve had to do things. We’ve had to establish a molecular laboratory. We’ve had to convert the hospital to become a COVID referral center. And so, there are certain byproducts, not all of them good, obviously. And one of the things that we have seen with this pandemic is really the rise in the use of plastics, more specifically single-use plastics,” he said.

He likewise noted that the city government has several initiatives to complement the waste-to-cash program.

“We have several other efforts. We have our materials recovery facilities and in the city hall, we’re trying to reduce plastic waste. But, definitely, this program with Aling Tindera is a new and innovative way to get people to participate in the recycling of plastics,” Sotto said.

With the program, micro-entrepreneurs could sell any plastic waste, such as polyethylene terephthalate, sachets, and single-use plastics — as long as they are clean, empty, and dry — to an Aling Tindera center.

“The pricing of the plastic waste changes from time to time that’s usually based on market conditions… May range po ‘yan depende sa klase ng (There is a range depending on the kind of) plastic,” PCX Founder Nanette Medved-Po said.

Currently, there are 19 waste-to-cash collection centers across the Philippines. The figure could have been higher if not for the restrictions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“So, we’re hoping now that restrictions have been somewhat lifted, we’ll be able to roll out, complete the 100, hopefully,” she added.

Pasig is the second city where the PCX rolled out its Aling Tindera program, the first was in Manila City.