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PDAF allocations used in accord with Makati’s investment policy

/ 12:34 AM July 10, 2014

In Neal Cruz’s column titled “What is VP Binay planning to do?” (Opinion, 6/13/14), Rep. Abby Binay was accused of misusing the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allotted to the second district of Makati.

I respect Cruz’s opinion, but the allegations against Representative Abby are clearly predicated solely on an erroneous understanding of vermiculture.

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According to GreensGrow, an organization promoting urban farming, vermiculture is the process of using redworms to compost food waste. The resulting vermicompost is an extremely high-quality organic soil amendment.

As noted by the Pennsylvania Environmental Protection, the vermiculture process is an easy and efficient method to reduce the volume of household organic waste normally thrown in garbage dumps. Worms eat food scraps such as fruit and vegetable peelings. Vermiculture is a great indoor or outdoor method where you have all of the brown matter required for regular composting but may not have all of the room for a compost pile.

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Thus, a garage or even the space under the kitchen sink, which are prevalent in an urban setting like Makati, can be the best locations to place the worm-composting bin for the vermiculture process to take place. It does not involve large tracts of land as wrongly portrayed by Cruz. His statement therefore that vermiculture in an urban setting such as Makati is akin to hog-raising in a Muslim community only highlights his ignorance of the vermiculture process.

Next, since it appears that Cruz’s column is merely based on the white paper that had been exposed as nothing but innuendo, erroneous assumptions and sweeping generalizations, his opinion on the matter does not fare any better.

Finally, I wish to clarify that at no instance did Representative Abby say that the vermiculture projects implemented through the PDAF were the reason for the growth and success of Makati. What she said was that the use of the PDAF had always been consistent with the public investment policies of Makati. Specifically, with respect to the vermiculture projects, they not only provide a greener way of waste disposal but also give the beneficiaries the opportunity to earn additional income.

It is this public investment policy adopted by Makati that has allowed it to, among others, provide: (1) the infrastructure needed for the growth of business; (2) one of the best-equipped and staffed public hospitals; (3) state-of-the-art, technology-enabled elementary and secondary schools for 85,000 students, with free snacks, books, notebooks, uniforms and allowances; and (4) the best support services and most comprehensive benefits to senior citizens.

With due respect to Cruz, I don’t think it would be asking too much for him to examine all available facts before denigrating the efforts of Representative Abby to find innovative support for her constituents. But on the other hand, I guess it is always easier to mock and find fault in people than finding ways to help them.

—MYSTY MENDOZA,

chief of staff of Rep. Abby Binay

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TAGS: Binay, neal cruz, PDAF, Priority Development Assistance Fund, vermiculture, Vice President Binay
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