I’m glad to have stumbled upon this photo posted by DPWH Secretary Mark Villar in his Facebook page in July. The photo showed segment of Tarlac Pangasinan La Union Expressway (TPLEX). According to Sec. Villar, coco net and vertiber grass are being utilized in the 11-km segment of TPLEX to prevent soil erosion. The photo also carries hashtags #BuildBuildBuild and #Bioengineering.
According to Wikipedia, bioengineering means the application of principles of biology and the tools of engineering to create usable, tangible, economically-viable products.
In 2012, I (with other bloggers) was able to observe how coco net are made — from drying coconut halves to decorticating the husks, twining the fibers, and finally weaving the net – during a tour at the green social enterprises in Las Piñas organized by the Villar Foundation.
Twining and weaving nets from coconut husks is just one of the social enterprises of the foundation. The other livelihood projects include handloom weaving, house waste composting, vermin composting, producing hollow blocks from trash, and crafting baskets from water hyacinths.
The development of these livelihood projects was an offshoot of an endeavor to clean and revive the Las Pinas-Zapote River.
The husks not thrown on the river were left on the sidewalks and the city had to spend more to haul the garbage. Trash collectors failed to collect sacks of coconut husk so they end up polluting the river.
To address the growing problem with coconut husks that were left on the sidewalks, Mrs. (now Senator) Cynthia Villar , managing director of the Villar Foundation, initiated and met with experts from Bicol University for the Coco Coir technology.
Dr. Justino Arboleda, an agricultural engineer, designed the machinery to make the coco-net. Coco Coir Enterprise utilizes coconut husk and convert them into coco net.
Finished coco nets are used for slope protection and control soil erosion. Coco nets are being used by Las Piñas City and private developers.
Congratulations, Sec. Villar for supporting #bioengineering techniques to complete government projects under the #BuildBuildBuild program. This sure saves a lot of government fundings.