Almost 38 sacks of solid wastes weighing about 494.5 kilograms were collected along the coastal barangays of Rawis, Arimbay and Bigaa in Legazpi City during today's observance of the International Coastal Cleanup Day.
Bicol environment chief Atty. Antonio A. Abawag said that while the ICC is conducted annually, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is strengthening its efforts in making oceans, rivers and esteros trash-free by leading cleanups in waterbodies and waterways and intensifying information, education and communication activities.
He urged the local government units and local communities to actively participate in the government’s efforts in addressing the problem on marine pollution that poses threat to coastal and marine resources, including human health.
In collaboration with the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of Albay, its line bureaus, the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), national government agencies, non-government organizations and the local communities, the celebration kickstarted with a short program at the DENR V Regional Office Compound. In his message, Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services (ARDTS) Atty. Ronnel C. Sopsop expressed his gratitude to this year’s ICC Day participants. “Conserving, protecting and maintaining the cleanliness of the coasts is everyone’s responsibility. Each year, more marine animals are dying because of wastes in the oceans. In order to save our oceans and for the future generation to experience its wonder, we should start the discipline in our homes.”
The participating groups were divided to different cleanup sites. The organizers reminded all participants to maintain and observe proper social distancing, wearing of face masks and hands gloves to avoid possible contact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) during the cleanup.
This year’s cleanup with the theme, “Safe Oceans Start at Home” gathered garbage primarily consisting of cigarette butts, metal, plastic bottles, food wrappers, pack holders and styrofoam. Held annually every third Saturday of September, volunteers worldwide join in cleaning tons of trash from coastlines, rivers and lakes and record every piece of trash collected.
With the conduct of ICC, the DENR Bicol aims to engage people and communities to avoid dumping trash and debris from beaches and waterways, identify the sources of litter and to change the behaviors that cause the pollution.