City to hire 50 ‘scubasureros’
Kristine B. Quintas/NSA (The Freeman) - November 17, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu City Bantay Dagat Commission will be hiring 50 job order personnel from the fisherfolk’s organization to undertake an “underwater coastal garbage cleanup” drive.

With this, the commission asked for an appropriation amounting to P1.8 million for the salaries of the “scubasurero” covering this month until December. The amount will also be utilized for the procurement of equipment and tools to be charged against Supplemental Budget-2.

The cleanup drive will cover the waters off Kawit Island at the South Road Properties. The two-month project is expected to start within the month.

Councilor Nida Cabrera, chairman of the committee on environment, said there is a need to implement massive cleanup citing a recent survey conducted by Japanese divers revealing that garbage found on the seafloor of the city’s waters has heaped by 15 feet.

The survey also noted that species flora and fauna are no longer visible, stressing that fishes are trapped inside plastic bags.

“The project has the potential of providing livelihood to fisherfolk and protecting our marine and aquatic resources from dumped garbage underneath,” said Cabrera.

The activity is part of the mandate of the commission provided for under Cebu City Ordinance 1636, as amended, for the purpose of developing and implementing livelihood projects for marginal fishermen and conserving and protecting the marine and aquatic resources within the city.

In a related activity in March, piles of garbage “over six feet high” occupying a large swathe of the bottom of the sea between Barangay Sawang Calero and Shell Island in Cebu City were discovered when a group of local and foreign divers checked the area.

Task Force Bantay Dagat executive director Ranolfo Sebusa said three Japanese divers and Philippine Coast Guard and Department of Environment and Natural Resources personnel dived in the area to inspect for underwater garbage, which they already did late last year.

What they saw was disheartening to environmentalists and nature advocates, said Sebusa.

“Pwerte na kabaga sa basura, puno na og basura ang kadagatan nga atong gibana-banang sobra six feet ang kabag-on (The pile of trash has grown in size. The sea was full of garbage that I estimate to be around six feet high),” he said.  (FREEMAN)

BARANGAY SAWANG CALERO AND SHELL ISLAND CEBU CITY CEBU CITY BANTAY DAGAT COMMISSION CEBU CITY ORDINANCE COUNCILOR NIDA CABRERA KAWIT ISLAND PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD AND DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES RANOLFO SEBUSA SOUTH ROAD PROPERTIES SUPPLEMENTAL BUDGET
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