Persons with disability group showcases contributions to circular economy

June 11, 2024
UNDP Philippines


CALOOCAN CITY - United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Philippines Resident Representative Selva Ramachandran joined Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary Atty. Analiza Rebuelta-Teh and the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Caloocan City in a visit to circular economy-based enterprises established and being maintained by persons with disability (PWD) and other vulnerable groups in two sites in Caloocan last May.


Spearheaded by its administrator, Mr. Richard Arceno, the Livelihood Education and Rehabilitation Center (LERC) serves as community resource center for inclusive development of PWD and other vulnerable groups. 


LERC features integrated organic waste management and urban agriculture systems, furniture and garment repurposing workstations, plastic recovery and recycling facilities, and community-based renewable energy initiatives. Mr. Arceno is also the national lead convenor of the Philippine Disability Forum.


The group’s initiatives are being supported by the Department of Health, which provides space for the LERC facility. LERC can showcase their work and products at the Dr. Jose Rodriguez N. Memorial Hospital and Leprosarium in coordination with Mr. Samuel Sumilang, chief nurse and head of the secretariat of the hospital’s Performance Governance System. At the hospital, the group operates a coffee shop built from repurposed materials and with a green space with an urban garden. They have also partnered with a group of Persons with Comorbidities, such as cancer patients who have recently ventured into a homemade bakeshop enterprise that also source some ingredients like eggs from the organic farm.


UNDP, DENR and the LGU carried out the site visit to explore opportunities to support gender equality, disability, and social inclusion (GEDSI) sectors as key actors in advancing circular and green economy in the country. 


Through the European Union-Philippines Partnership for Green Economy (EU-GEPP), a program led by DENR with EUR 60 million funding from the EU, UNDP Philippines and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) are co-leading the Green LGUs Project, which specifically aims to build capacities of LGUs and local stakeholders in their transition to circular economy. 


Caloocan City is one of the project’s 60 partner LGUs. The UNDP delegation includes EnP Floradema Eleazar of the Climate Action Team and Engr. Voltaire Acosta of EU-GEPP Green LGUs. [E]



This article is in commemoration of UNDP's first ever Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) week from 10 to 14 June 2024.