For the 30 members of the Youth with Disabilities Association or YAWDA, venturing into a livelihood undertaking is coupled with environmental responsibility.

Basing it on the nature of the project they chose, that fact is not that hard to guess.

Using a P500,000 grant from the Department of Labor and Employment-Regional Office 1, the YAWDA, an association of differently-abled youth, ventured into charcoal briquetting project to improve their living conditions through a business undertaking that helps protect the environment. The DOLE assistance was used to purchase a briquettor, charcoal mixer, dryer, hammer nail crusher and for training.

“This charcoal briquetting project translates both our thrusts of establishing job-generating community enterprises and of promoting skills or jobs that trigger environment-friendly development, which is ardently advocated by Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz,” DOLE 1 Director Henry John Jalbuena said.

The two-day training was administered by the Forest Products Research and Development Institute to acquaint the association members with the operation of the machine and equipment.

Based on Department of Environment and Natural Resources research, the use of charcoal briquettes can reduce wood charcoal consumption of poultry farms, households and domestic enterprises which is about 590 tons/year or an equivalent of 26,970 m3 fuel wood. Shifting to DENR charcoal not only puts forest wastes into good use but also helps mitigate carbon dioxide emission in the atmosphere and lessens the depletion of the country’s forest resources.

“The cutting of trees for charcoal production can be mitigated through the use of agriforestry wastes as raw materials to produce charcoal briquettes, thus the project can help preserve our forests while recycling wastes into useful commodity,” Jalbuena said.

The Employers Confederation of the Philippines-Pangasinan Chapter shared P125,000 equity as the project proponent.

Other cooperating entities are the City Government of Dagupan and the Breaking Barriers for Youth with Disabilities. asv

Last Updated on March 10, 2022 by lopezhn