Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Battery recycling project helps ecology, students

July 19, 2008 10:18:00
Bernadette Parco
Cebu Daily News

A battery manufacturer and distributor firm launched in Cebu a campaign to collect and recycle used lead acid batteries.

The Balik Baterya campaign is Oriental and Motolite Corp.’s flagship project for corporate social responsibility that would benefit the ecology and public school students.

“We wanted proper disposal and recycling to prevent toxic material from being ingested by animals, plants and from contaminating our water supply,” said Noly Cayabyab, vice president for corporate social responsibility.

Lead acid batteries are the ones used in motor vehicles and industries.

For every donation of a used battery, payment of P325 to P500 will be made by Oriental and Motolite Corp. to the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), with proceeds to be used for the improvement of education services of public elementary schools.

The donor can even specify which area the education assistance can be focused on.

The firm is one among 25 companies which joined the PBSP Visayas Corporate Social Responsibility Expo held at the SM Cebu from July 17 to 20.

The expo called "A Better Life: PBSP's Celebration of Corporate Social Responsibility" includes a photo exhibit, lectures, the relaunch of a coffee table book project and the Visayas launching of the Motolite Balik Baterya Program.

Levi S. Villanueva, vice chairman of the PBSP in the Visayas, said the expo shares a wide range of experiences of companies engaged in CSR.

In his speech opening the expo, he invited the public to also see products of PBSP-assisted cooperatives and companies in the ongoing Best Visayas Trade Fair at SM City.

Learning sessions were held on enterprise development, corporate-community partnerships and health options in the workplace.

In the battery recycling project, proceeds will go to textbook donations, organizing teacher training seminars and remedial reading camps.

A deed of donation will be issued for the used batteries and this can be translated to tax credits for the donor company.

Cayabyab said the PBSP and Motolite will set up drop off points and arrange for the the hauling of the used batteries.

These batteries will be sent to the Philippine Recyclers Inc. (PRI), which converts the batteries into pure lead, lead alloys and plastic chips while the sulfuric acid in the batteries are treated. The PRI will then issue a Certificate of Treatment to the donor company.

In the Visayas, the focus is on the setting up of learning resource centers in the name of the donor company that would collect 100 ULABS and a donated value of P40,000.

Used dry cells that contain nickel, cadmium, and mercury, the kind used in appliances, are also accepted.

However, there is no cash value to be exchanged because the Philippines lacks the technology to recycle the batteries.

“We will only be able to store them,” said Cayabyab to keep them from contaminating the ecology.

During PBSP's CSR celebration, nine (9) Metro Cebu companies and organizations signed a memorandum in support of the Motolite-PBSP Balik Baterya Program. They are: Airlift Asia - Cebu; Cebu Daily News; Fairchild Semiconductors; Lear Corporation - Philippine Engineering and Technology Center; Petron Corporation; Shangri-la's Mactan Resort & Spa; Union Bank of the Philippines; Villa del Rio Homeowners' Association; and Wellmade Motors and Development Corporation.

Mr. Rito Apas, Mandaue Terminal Manager of Petron Corporation and member of the PBSP Visayas Executive Committee, helped launch the Motolite-PBSP Balik Baterya Program.