The Environmental Management Bureau โ€“ Region I (EMB-I) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in partnership with the Municipality of Bauang, La Union spearheaded an orchestrated cleanup activity along the coast of Bauang, La Union and Zumba workout dubbed โ€œZumBasuraโ€ on March 25, 2021 in celebration of World Water Day and Womenโ€™s Month.

The ZumBasura aims to raise public awareness about the importance of properly managing solid waste and protecting waterbodies as well as to promote a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. The said activity is also in line with the 10 Priority Programs of DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu which include โ€œClean Waterโ€ and โ€œEcological Solid Waste Management.โ€

About 130 volunteers from EMB-Region I, Municipal Government of Bauang, La Union, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, and Barangay Officials took part in the simultaneous cleanup drive along the coast of Barangays Taberna, Pagdalagan Sur, Paringao, Baccuit Sur, Baccuit Norte. Minimum public health standards were strictly observed during the cleanup such as physical distancing, hand disinfection, and use of face mask, face shield and gloves to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. EMB-Region I provided washable face masks, face shields, gloves and advocacy polo shirts to all the participants.

The 30-minute Zumba dance workout led by EMB-I Environmental Monitoring Officer Jayson Aro and ZIN Rose Garcia followed by the opening program held at the coast of Barangay Taberna was attended by EMB-I Regional Director Engr. Maria Dorica Naz-Hipe, Bauang Mayor Dr. Menchie de Guzman, Municipal Officials, Barangay Taberna Officials, and EMB-I personnel. Instructions for an orderly conduct of the activity were explained by Bauang MENRO Florence Rulloda. The rest of the EMB-I staff and Officials of Barangays Pagdalagan Sur, Paringao, Baccuit Sur and Baccuit Norte were already stationed at their respective segments for the cleanup activity.

EMB-I Regional Director Engr. Maria Dorica Naz-Hipe expressed her gratitude to Mayor Menchie de Guzman and the Municipality of Bauang, La Union for partnering with EMB-I in the said activity. She stressed the importance of keeping the beautiful beach destinations in the region and the environment clean to prevent the spread of diseases. She likewise lauded the local chief executives in the Province of La Union for their full support and active participation in various environmental programs and activities.

Mayor de Guzman thanked Director Hipe and DENR-EMB Region I for holding the โ€œZumBasuraโ€ in Bauang, La Union and urged her townsfolk to act as stewards of nature and work together to fight the challenges that haunt mother Earth. She likewise encouraged them to pray to the Lord for the end to COVID-19 pandemic and urged them to strictly observe the minimum health protocols as they await the vaccine rollout.

The volunteers picked up residual wastes which were mostly plastic food wrappers and containers, plastic cups and straws, cigarette butts and styrofoam pieces.

The World Water Day is celebrated annually on March 22 and it highlights the importance of water and raises awareness of the global water crisis. This yearยดs theme of โ€œValuing Waterโ€ is about what water means to people, its true value and how we can better protect this vital resource.