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DENR-7 urging Cebuanos to join in coastal cleanup

CEBU, Philippines — With the present weather disturbances bringing massive impact like the severe flooding, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-7 seeks to mobilize local communities to participate in the biggest coastal cleanup drive in the region.

Around 10,000 volunteers are targeted to join this Saturday’s activity to help in clearing tons of trash from lakes, rivers and coastlines and recording every piece of trash collected.

Since it adopted the initiative in the early 1990’s, the DENR has taken the lead in the annual activity called the International Coastal Cleanup of the environmental advocacy group Ocean Conservancy, which is based in the United States.

Queen Aloyan, focal person of DENR-7’s ICC 2017, said this activity is the world's largest volunteer effort for marine protection and conservation, gathering thousands of individuals across the globe to participate.

The activity is held every third Saturday of September of each year.

“This is not just a mere cleanup drive. This (activity) is also to create public awareness reminding the people that we have to take care of our coastal and marine ecosystem,” she said in a radio-live forum dubbed “Kapihan sa PIA,” organized by Philippine Information Agency-Cebu province.

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Improper garbage disposal and ineffective solid waste management has been one of the pressing issues here that has gradually destroyed the coastal and marine life of some localities in the region.

Aloyan said much of the waste that ends up in the oceans are from the land that are either thrown directly to the waters or swept by flood or through drainage or sewerage.

This is the reason why the DENR-7 sought to intensify the cleanup drive that is under the agency’s Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Program (CMEMP) not only by educating local communities but also involving them in the activity, she said.

Aloyan said the initiative has been running for 32 years but the Philippines only joined in 1993.

The activity was supported by Presidential Proclamation No. 470 issued in 2003 declaring the third Saturday of September every year as Philippine ICC Day.

This year, the DENR-7 with Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) agreed to mark the stretch of the coastline from Barangay Ermita to Talisay City as the target area. Activity starts at 3 p.m. (low tide).

Aloyan said if people wish to join, they can visit the DENR-attached offices to coordinate with them as to their designated area.

They can also ask from the local government units, any civic action group, academic institutions and diving group who will be participating in the ICC.

Anyone can join either individually or by group with no registration fee required. (FREEMAN)

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