The DENR-Environmental Management Bureau – Region I (EMB-I) in partnership with the Municipality of Rosario, La Union spearheaded an orchestrated cleanup activity along the coast of Barangays Damortis, Bani and Rabon in Rosario, La Union on September 15, 2022 in observance of the International Coastal Cleanup Day and National Cleanup Month with the theme of “Fighting for Trash Free Seas – Pilipinas: Ending the Flow of Trash at the Source.”
About 170 volunteers composed of EMB-Region I personnel; Municipal Environment & Natural Resources Officer, Engr. Julius Estacio, and staff; officials, Sangguniang Kabataan and personnel of Barangay Damortis led by Punong Barangay Joel Abril; officials and personnel of Barangay Bani led by Punong Barangay Alejandro Ramos; officials and personnel of Barangay Rabon led by Punong Barangay Renato Ortiz; Provincial Government of La Union – Environment and Natural Resource Office employees, PENRO La Union Park Rangers; and employees of Isla LPG and LDP Farm took part in the coastal cleanup activity. Minimum public health standards were strictly observed as preventive measure against COVID-19.
The volunteers gathered at the covered court of Barangay Damortis at 6:00 a.m. for an opening program prior to the cleanup activity. EMB-I Regional Director, Engr. Maria Dorica Naz-Hipe, expressed her sincerest gratitude to the Municipality of Rosario, La Union headed by Mayor Bellarmin Flores II for partnering with EMB-Region I in the said environmental activity. She underscored this year’s international coastal cleanup theme by urging the barangay officials and townsfolk to work together in ecologically managing solid waste and not allowing trash to flow into the coastal waters to protect the marine biodiversity.
MENRO Estacio gave instructions for an orderly conduct of the cleanup drive. Regional Director Hipe and EMB-I Ecological Solid Waste Management Section Chief, EnP. Marygail Antonette Killa, turned over IEC materials on solid waste management and advocacy shirts to the three Punong Barangay.
EMB-I personnel were divided into three teams who joined the volunteers in removing trash along the coast of the three barangays. A total of 219.6 kilograms of trash were picked up by the volunteers, which were mostly food wrappers, plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic cups, styrofoam pieces, and used facemasks. The EMB-I personnel and barangay officials sorted and weighed the collected trash and recorded them in the Ocean Trash Data Form to be submitted to the Ocean Conservancy. The recyclable wastes were brought to the barangay materials recovery facility (MRF) for sorting and temporary storage, while the residual wastes (non-recyclable and non-compostable wastes) were collected by the municipal garbage truck for proper disposal.
Presidential Proclamation No. 470 declared the third Saturday of September of each year as the International Coastal Cleanup Day in observance of the Global Coastal Cleanup celebrations. The International Coastal Cleanup is a global initiative since 1986 by the Ocean Conservancy and it is the largest volunteer effort which engages people to remove trash that pollutes our waterways, making our coasts cleaner and our ocean healthier. Since its beginning, more than 17 million volunteers around the globe have collected more than 348 million pounds of trash. The month of September is declared as the National Cleanup Month by virtue of Proclamation No. 244.