Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Wishing Greta's Luck On Us

Since December 2013, we have started working with the DENR and DepEd to teach and make youths in the Philippines plant (seedling) trees, despite the majority of our country's population lacking the much-needed land space (and title) to grow these seedlings into mature trees.

We hoped as much as we re-plant every wayward tree seedling in a container or to a more permanent space that every seedling re-planted would survive the dry season and lack of time/resources of every planter.

We even developed "waste-gardening" not only because we have no land to till but because we have so much to throw and no patience for smelly composts (just remember to throw bits of torn paper or sawdust on every wet biowaste you put on that pot!)
In May this year, we had our 20nth seminar-workshop with Quezon City teachers, again, Bituen distributing soil, live cuttings of fruit trees, and herb-drink-making kits. And we hope to conduct more before the year ends.
On our end, we go on planting  with our very limited resources, continuing our research on using bio-wastes, finding ways to make trees grow on containers, or how vegetation can become more resilient in concrete jungles.
But where's the attention we need (okay, we mean funds actually, as much as Greta was saying it with a capital F) so we can help green more schools and city spaces? Come on world, Philippines is the world capital of caring nurses and health care providers! Help green our schools and we provide better, healthier nurses and health care providers for all of you! That is not a promise, that is sustainability!


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Greening Challenge on Teachers: Help Needed


With the looming “Graduation Legacyfor the Environment Act 2016” where students will be required to plant at least ten (10) trees in order to get their diploma, another load on the shoulders of Technology and Livelihood Education teachers is added as  they are still battling the School Inside a Garden (SIGA) program.


In a previous Gulayan sa Paaralanprogram (GPP) convention, educators remain at a quandary how - with many addressing the problem of allotting garden spaces in their crowded urban schools - could they create SIGA specified in Departmentof Education Memorandum187 s 2018.

The SIGA program, believed to be loosely inspired by the Garden City urban planning concept, aims to establish “schools inside gardens featuring mostly indigenous and endemic trees and flowering plants” and “sustain environmental consciousness and action among learners and the community…” Garden City on the other hand, is “intended to be planned, self-contained communities surrounded by ‘greenbelts’, containing proportionate areas of residences, industry and agriculture.”

With the GPP, schools and teachers have been preparing for the eventuality of these green goals and ideal community concepts under the National Greening Program (NGP) pursuant to Section 5.2 of Executive Order (EO) No. 26, s. 2011. The challenge, however, is in the roles of local government units (LGUs), city governments, and national agencies that include the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Management, the Department of Agriculture, and the private sector.

DENR’s Jacqueline Caancan, NCR regional director noted that “When we park our cars, we always want it under a tree’s shade,” she said. “But the irony is: Who wants to plant a tree?”

Many well-meaning peoples’ organizations and agencies conduct “planting” activities for decades now, but have been failing due to unsustained cultivation of trees. Common sense dictates that tropical plants require regular watering, organic nourishment, and protection in order to fully grow as trees, but these have not been properly addressed.

Environment and waste gardening advocate Margaret Tadeja calls on the private sector, especially major business establishments to pitch-in for the urban communities they thrive from. “Healthier environment means more robust production and consumption,” she said. “Teachers and students are ready to get out and plant in their communities, but the community should also provide for protected spaces as well as support if only in the form of water, sturdy large pots, and garden soil to ensure that these plants will survive.”

As DepEd and their partner NGOs drum up greening in schools, the business and private sector have Adopt-a-School as a means to actively support community greening efforts. Interested parties may call 632-9941372 on how they can engage in building healthier communities, residential and work spaces.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Learning Green from Tokyo

Tokyo is Japan's capital, its metropolitan population the highest in the world with about 13.506 million people. It tops the Global Economic Power Index as well as Best Overall Experience in categories: "helpfulness of locals", "nightlife", "shopping", "local public transportation" and "cleanliness of streets". It has 47 administrative divisions.

As a very populous city, yet with very efficient transport system and cleanliness, Philippines has much to learn from Tokyo.

1. Discipline. In our 8-day stay, we never saw any traffic violation and never heard any honking except the train signals. People, bikes, and cars stop when traffic lights turn orange to red, regardless of whether or not there are cars, bikes, or people crossing on the go-road/street. We never saw anyone throwing any form of waste, big or small. Instead, we saw people picking up rubbish and putting it inside their pockets.
 Cars, bikes, & people will stop at red sign regardless of there are cars, bikes or people crossing on the green road/street, or none.
2. They implement and follow laws. Households (we stayed in 3 homes in our visit) have 3 plastic bags of wastes and the accompanying waste bins:
They have a schedule of garbage pick-up per waste bag, so that not all wastes are thrown at the same day or hour. There are designated waste collection spots and the waste bags are all neatly packed. You will not see waste bags elsewhere. This makes sense as it will provide less work time for waste workers. Combustibles are then incinerated that supply energy and heat in Tokyo and consumers. Japan technology make incinerators emit vapors that are safer than their other incinerator counterparts.
 There is a schedule of pick per waste segregated.
Even the Tsukiji Fish Market with its fish stench, has its floors and amenities free of any form of new or rotting garbage!

3. They love their flowers and plants, and they show it. Not only are Tokyo's gardens well-maintained and even a source of pride, but flowering container gardens are kept along their side streets and homes. All idle spaces are filled with flowering plants.
#tokyogardens
#tokyogardens

Idle spaces are filled with flowering plants.
4. They respect bike riders. Noel of Tokyo Biking Tours emphasized that for a nation that supplies the world with cars, Tokyo do not like cars that much.  But more notable is the reverence that car or motorized vehicle drivers give to their fellow road users. As mentioned earlier, they never honk even in near-accident events. You can hear brakes, but never a honk. Every road, side street, and even pedestrian lanes are paved with bike lanes, providing two choices for bikers. Mothers ride their children to school with bikes, there are bike rentals and paid / free parkings everywhere, and Tokyo households have adopted bikes as vehicle of choice. It has consistently occupied top spots of biking capital in the wold together with Copenhagen (Denmark), Utrech (Germany) and Amsterdam (Netherlands).
Biking in Tokyo is so safe that not only households adopted bikes as vehicle of choice but even toddlers can bike in major thoroughfares.
By Marge Tadeja. 
Photos by Jezreel Cruz 
Visit instagram #tokyogardens for more photos

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

2017 Reading Caravan & Sustainability @ Bituen

2017 proved as another progressive year for the Bituen group as we opened the year with Reading Caravan book distribution at San Isidro, Makati City in January 2 with Karinderia ni Mang Urot once again benefiting about a hundred young learners. The feat is followed by another book distribution at at Magsilay, Pasil, Kalinga Apayao, in January 11.
 January 2 Reading Caravan at San Isidro, Makati City.
Reading Caravan at Magsilay, Pasil, Kalinga Apayao, January 11.

https://web.facebook.com/pg/bituen.tiilocos/photos/?tab=album&album_id=644010102476005
Gulayan sa Paaralan Nationwide Conference in Dumaguete City, August 17;
Waste Gardening at Love to Learn,  Old Balara, Quezon City in October 24;
and Waste Gardening workshop again 
at 3rd National Youth Environmental Summit November 21, at Teachers Camp, Baguio City.

In between, the Bituen volunteers continue distributing books to marginalized children they encounter. Sustainability forums/seminars, workshops are supported by the Department of Education, Forest Management BureauEducation is our Tool, Gising na Pilipinas 5 Loaves & 3 Fishes Project, and PAGCOR. Books distribution efforts are supported by Books for Asia and Darien Books. Kudos to all!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

How to lower Philippine Business Tax

There are 2 ways you can reduce your business taxes in the Philippines substantially.
First, you can do-it-yourself and purchase this DIY kit we prepared for you:
DIY pack includes a Step-by-step process and all necessary documents to submit to several government agencies so you can avail about 50% off your taxable income! Purchase includes nationwide shipping.

But if you are like many Filipinos who are wary of online transaction, you can purchase the kit via the long process: deposit your payment via Bank of Commerce to Bituen current account 035-00-000715-1, then take a photo of your deposit slip and email to bituen.org@gmail.com

Second, you can schedule a meeting with us. Learn more about lowering your taxes for your Philippine business.

Under the Republic Act 8525 or Adopt-a-School Act of 1998 and BIR Revenue Regulations 10-2003, Bituen is now accepting Partners to join us in our two (2) programs as follows which your equivalent support will be duductible from your gross income (plus 50% additional deduction!!!!):
Sustainability & 3Rs - Seminars, workshops, & forums engaging teachers and students to adopt the waste-gardening approach and include tree-planting in their Gulayan sa Paaralan. Teachers, including TLE, Home Economics, and MAPEH educators and coordinators are encouraged to incorporate waste management in their livelihood and agricultural subjects at school so as to realistically meet the available resources to teachers and students alike especially those in urban areas. The environment is a cause that every individual should actively participate in to.
www.bituen.org

Reading Caravan - free distribution of quality children's books to marginalized urban and rural children all over the country. The Bituen group believe that inspiring and motivating children to read will empower them to aspire a better life, become learned, and productive members of society that would soon make intelligent choices as consumers.

As Partners, private companies can actually see their support, even join in the workshops (or their employees) for free, and have their support tax-deductible.


Bituen has distributed quality books to more than 10,000 children across the country, helped establish at least 5 mini-libraries, and conducted about 19 workshops/forums/seminars with a total of more than five thousand participants. For updated posts, visit our Facebook page Bituen Boluntario.


For more information, call (632) 9941372, contact us, or email at bituen.org@gmail.com

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Reading Caravan

More than anything, quality children's books are most helpful and inspiring to marginalized children in third world countries like the Philippines due to its rarity and accessibility. Textbooks in the country seldom has more than 2 colors, of durable quality, or appeal due to its successive and years of use by several children.

In Bituen volunteers' outreach experiences, when given food and a pack of toys, children set aside the rest and browse through the pages of the book they received for free because this is a new experience to them: being transported in another world with color and vivid images!



All photos taken during the January 2, 2017 Reading Caravan in San Isidro, Makati CIty.

Bituen continue accepting book donations for marginalized children. While giving to schools and libraries may also be a good intention, these books are rarely used by marginalized children for fear of soiling these books and being reprimanded later on.

Contact us to donate.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Eco Volunteers Needed

On the heels of the success of the initial Cool Green School project, Bituen is inviting volunteers to become trainers for various schools in Philippine cities. Under the Sustainability program, wastes are used in urban gardening and possible livelihood craft projects with the double purpose to clean and green our urban especially in marginalized areas.

The training is for free but volunteers will shoulder their tool kit worth P700 and waste materials:
  • 2 medium to large cans
  • 1 large shampoo or similar plastic bottle
  • waste paper and packaging boards.
The workshop-training is slated to begin February 25, 2017 and every last Saturday of each month thereon which venue shall be near or around Quezon City Memorial Circle area.  Participants are required to complete all activities during the training to be able to receive a certification, and inclusion in the pool of volunteers. The volunteer trainers will then be deployed to various city schools to train students.

Bituen has also been invited to join the rehabilitation efforts of the Duterte Administration and successful participants may also opt to join the extended workshops in treatment centers around the country.
For other inquiries, please contact Bituen, call (02) 9941372, or email bituen.org@gmail.com.