A response towards Environmental Protection
Greenstar stands for “garbage recycling for an ecologically-balanced environment thru natural and simplified techno-agricultural response”.
Climate change and global warming are worldwide issues that need to be addressed. Until today, many countries including the Philippines are still exploring for the perfect solution to these growing problems.
Cognizant to these concerns, the 5th Infantry Division (5ID) has initiated a project that can serve as a precursor step to altering our precarious environmental state. The two-pronged program, which was launched in February 2014, deals mainly with effective waste management and diversified organic system.
Ways on Managing Waste
The division has started to implement the use of simple and cheap yet effective means of dealing with garbage. Adapted to the innovation of Mr. Fred L. Tangonon of Baguio City, Eco Composting Receptacle (ECR) and Residual Waste Depot (RWD) are now widely utilized in the premises of the division and its line units.
These facilities have many advantages. The receptacles and depot are easy to prepare and maintain as they require minimal materials and labor. Also, the decomposition process employs natural materials and organisms (e.g. maggots, earthworms, microorganisms) found ubiquitously in the environment. While the amount of garbage is lessened, organic fertilizer production increases. These cascading benefits not only ensure compliance, but also the sustainability of the program.
Organic and Fresh!
The diversified organic system is another arm of the program of 5ID to help solve the imminent problem of climate change and global warming. It comprises organic vegetable, chicken and swine production.
Through the use of traditional farming techniques, crops are cultivated without the aid of artificial fertilizers and insecticides. Moreover, crop rotation, as well as inter-cropping methods, is promoted. Among the vegetables presently grown at the farm are tomato, eggplant, papaya, bitter gourd (ampalaya), napa cabbage (pechay) and cassava.
The animals (chicken and swine), on the other hand, are raised in natural living conditions. As opposed to contemporary methods, these animals are not housed in small cages or pens and not nourished with manufactured feeds. Free-range chicken reared in the command is in a very natural habitat. Swine are equally raised in a big space (~500 sqm) good for 10 heads.
The Greenstar project focuses on practical and actionable knowledge for building a better agricultural future. It is one of the best military practices in the history of 5th infantry (star) division. The establishment, development, and sustainment of the Greenstar project became the brand of the command that represents the star troopers in the north. Greenstar stands for “garbage recycling for an ecologically-balanced environment thru natural and simplified techno-agricultural response”.
The 77th infantry battalion (cadre), of the 5th infantry (star) division, the Philippine army which adheres to the implementation of the Greenstar project has adopted its simple way of addressing the solution to the climate change mitigation through organic farming. The waste management system incorporated in the Greenstar project has a scheme to introduce the organic farming utilizing as fertilizer the waste products from garbage recycling facility particularly the use of eco-composting receptacle technology or ECR in composting wastes. Said eco-composting receptacle technology or ECR promotes clean, green and organized surroundings which aim to protect public health and eco-friendly environment as embodied in the republic act 9003 – the ecological solid waste management of 2000.
And for such practice, 77th infantry battalion was recognized as the best CAFGU active auxiliary of the year awarded by the Philippine Army on March 2014 at Fort Bonifacio, Metro Manila.
The Greenstar Project was also declared as a school for practical agriculture (spa) and farm tourism site by the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) of the department of agriculture. On August 17, 2015, it won a first place recognition from the department of agriculture, during the knowledge sharing and learning of best practices in organic agricultural production technologies participated in by various government agencies from regions 1, 2, and 3 and from cordillera administrative region.
Col Francisco D Millare (INF) GSC pa, the acknowledged founder of the Greenstar school for practical agriculture and farm tourism site was recognized by several government agencies for its micro-organic farming, known for its high productivity using low-tech but high-yield methods of production.
The 77th infantry battalion has recently published a book entitled “Greenstar: the 5id experience”, wherein it is a valuable reference to be used by our soldiers in advocating and promoting social and environmental protection, preservation and cultivation. It is also an information reference not only for soldiers but most especially to be shared with the civilian stakeholders to participate on our unending quest to counter the alarming battle we are facing nowadays, the climate change. It will also serve as a handbook for the aspiring small-scale organic farmer.
Under the new leadership of the 5th infantry (star) division commander MGen Perfecto M Rimando Jr AFP, 77ib establishes more advanced features of the Greenstar project and pioneers the new sorts of model farming technique which could lead to dependable access of healthy foods by integrating efficient and adopting more farming technologies.
77th infantry battalion has worked on a cheap yet highly effective farming method which could contribute to mitigating the effects of these current environmental stresses that extremely affect the natural stability of the environment.
With the practice established already by the 5th infantry (star) division through the 77th infantry battalion (cadre), the Greenstar project will go a very long way and could help soldiers, CAFGU active auxiliary members, and even people in the community to uplift their wellbeing.
Along also with our humble efforts to protect the community reflects our love for the people that we may continue to share this project thereby contributing to the noble perseverance of developing the love for the country and strong sense of national pride which comes from a strong sense of what we practice in this Greenstar project.