Volunteers carrying sacks and sticks were seen flocking to the coastline of Barangay Flores, Catmon on Saturday, September 19, for the orchestrated cleanup initiated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
The activity is also timely with the 30th International Coastal Cleanup Day that is celebrated every third Saturday of September.
Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Atty. Chad Estella and Catmon Mayor Dan Jusay lead some 500 volunteers from government agencies, private companies, non-government organizations and concerned citizens from the nearby barangays during the activity.
According to Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer Loida Aroma, the huge bulk of trash collected by the volunteers were mostly plastic bags and wrappers that take a long time to decompose.
Jusay encouraged the residents in the area to take action regarding the situation of their surroundings.
The mayor also shared that they are planning to add another garbage compactor unit for the municipality’s needs.
“We have finished our 10-year solid waste management plan and we were able to send it to DENR. We have started our Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and hopefully with the continuous help of the Capitol and DENR, we will have it on time,” said Jusay.
Meanwhile, the team leader of 7D Food International Zaldy Rodrigo said that they are thankful to the government of Catmon for inviting them to participate in the activity.
“We are very happy to help and raise awareness through this activity. We are committed to support every similar activity,” said Rodrigo.
Divina Cinco and Fatima Arasa, both living in the area for 20 years, are thankful for the said activity.
“Adunay kanunay nga pagpanglimpyo dinhi sa amoa kay aktibo man ang mga organisasyon dinhi, apan ang mga sagbot ilabi na ang mga plastic bags kay dagsa man kay dala na sila sa bawd. (There are always cleanups here because many organizations are active. A lot of trash are carried here through the waves),” Arasa said.
“Among panginabuhi gikan gyud sa dagat mao nang mangunay gyud mi og panglimpyo, hinuon og kusog ang sulog o kung may bagyo, mudagsa gyud ang basura. (Our main source of livelihood comes from the sea. This is why we make it a point to clean. If the waves are strong or if there is a storm, garbage would end up in our place),” added Cinco.
Bernadette Patingo, Pantawid team leader of Barangay Corazon, also shared that they are active in cleaning up the shorelines in the town.
“Komitado mi nga manglimpyo sa mga eskwelahan, menteryo ug sa mga baybayon. (We are committed to cleaning our schools, cemeteries and shorelines),” Patingo said.
On the other hand, sacks full of plastic wrappers printed with a name of a certain bakeshop were found a few meters away from the exact area of the cleanup activity.
Jusay said that their immediate action is to call the attention of the owner.
“Ginagmay lang kung tan-awon ang mga basura pag-abot nato apan daghan diay kaayo kung matapok na. Nanghinaot mi nga ang pagpanglimpyo dili lang matapos karong adlawa. (Garbage looked small in volume when we arrived for the cleanup but when we gathered them together there is a huge pile. We hope that the cleanup efforts will continue),” said PENRO head Chad Estella.
The activity did not stop from clearing up the area and collecting trash. The organizers will weigh the garbage and record the information. Results from the recorded information can provide a better waste management plan and policies for the town.