From left: Parañaque CENRO Head Bernie Amurao; Parañaque Cong. Eric Olivarez; CORA Executive Director and Founder Antoinette Taus; Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez, and CORA USAID-CCBO Program Manager Gloidan Papas
June 28, 2021 — Communities Organized for Resource Allocation (CORA) kicks off the “Circular Center: Enhanced Recovery and Recycling Mechanism for Marine Litter” initiative through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Local Government Unit of Parañaque, along with its City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO). The project is under the Clean Cities, Blue Ocean (CCBO), the flagship program of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) that responds to the global crisis on ocean plastic pollution.
CORA’s Circular Center, which will be situated in the vicinity of the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in the City of Parañaque will serve as a comprehensive and replicable, circular economy model for the recovery and diversion of clean, dry and segregated solid waste, both biodegradable and non-biodegradable. It will also support and strengthen existing local government systems and infrastructure; intentionally incorporate women into the value-chain as leaders and champions of 3R (reduce, reuse, and recycle) and solid waste management (SWM) or 3R/SWM; engage local communities to shift their behavior to more sustainable 3R/SWM practices that also give back via various incentive programs; and leverage private sector partners to create and build on end-markets for single-use plastics. Existing livelihood programs in Parañaque will also be supported and strengthened in order to create more 3R and economic opportunities for women.
Signatories to the MOU were: Antoinette Taus, CORA Founder and Executive Director; Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez; and Bernie Amurao, Parañaque CENRO Unit Head. Present during the signing were Parañaque City 1st District Rep. Eric Olivarez, Engr. Tere Quiogue, Parañaque CENRO, and Gloidan Papas, CORA Operations Director and USAID-CCBO Program Manager.
In late 2020, CORA was selected as one of the grant partners for USAID’s CCBO program. Currently working in Asia (Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Indonesia) and in Latin America and the Caribbean (Dominican Republic and Peru), CCBO works globally to target ocean plastics directly at their source, focusing on rapidly urbanizing areas that contribute significantly to the estimated eight million metric tons of plastic that flow into the ocean each year.