Cebu News

Mactan’s Scubasurero yields sacks of garbage

Marigold Lebumfacil - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Around four sacks of cans, plastic and human wastes were removed from the sea  when the Sea Knights, a faith-based scuba diving group, spearheaded “Scubasurero”, an initiative for the Coral Triangle Day celebration yesterday in Maribago, Mactan Island.

Fr. Tito Soquiño, OSA of the Basilica del Sto. Niño, and Fr. Charlie Orobia, OAR, who are also professional divers, along with 14 other member divers of the Sea Knights, went 40-feet deep underwater for the clean-up drive.

Soquiño said they were able to get four sacks of garbage which were mostly cans, plastics, sachet packs and other human wastes.

“Daghan gyud mi nakuha, mga around four sacks, may mga lata sa sardinas, plastics, sachet, kasagaran mga human wastes gyud 40-feet under the sea, mao ni pinakalawm namong naadtuan,” Soquiño said.

Before the group went diving, Soquiño celebrated a Mass intended for the environment at their starting point in Boyla Dive Shop along with the members of the Sea Knights, whose aim is to protect the marine environment.

Lapu-Lapu City police divers and members of the coast guard joined them along with other divers  from the different resorts in Mactan Island.

In his homily, Soquiño stressed that as people show awe and reverence in the altar during the Mass, the sea is also the altar of God’s creatures and also deserves reverence.

He asked everyone to help take care of the environment, including priests.

“Hinaot kitang tanan mag-amping sa kalikupan ug ang mga kaparian, magdugang wali ug iapil sa ilang mga sermon ang pag-amping sa atong kalikupan, (I hope we would all take care of the environment and that priests will help by including in their sermons the importance of caring for the environment),” Soquiño said.

“We are trying to stress  the involvement of faith in the preservation of and protection of the environment, especially that Pope Francis is also passionate for everything that brings goodness to the environment,” he added.

Aside from the “Scubasurero”, another multi-sectoral clean-up drive was done by the citizens of 30 barangays in Lapu-Lapu City along with other government  agencies led by Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) executive director Isabelo Montejo, and other non-government organizations.

Soquiño said that these activities will be done every June 9, which is the Coral Triangle Day, in cooperation with the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs Fisheries and Food Security National Coordinating Committee Philippines (CTI-CFF).

CTI-CFF is a cooperation of six different countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste, which are working together with the common aim of sustaining coastal resources and marine life.

The organization’s objective is to address issues such as food security, climate change and marine biodiversity. The involved countries continue to commit to the protection and conservation of our diverse ecosystem. — (FREEMAN)










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