MABINI, Batangas: The Philippine National Police (PNP) Maritime Group on Sunday led dozens of scuba divers in removing garbage from the coast and waters of Mabini town, Batangas province during the “Scubasurero” clean-up drive held to mark its 27th founding anniversary.
Different scuba-diving teams yielded 43 sacks of trash, whose combined estimated weight of 50 kilos surpassed the 40 kilos recorded in 2016 and 30 kilos in 2017.
Much of the trash came from an entire house that was washed out to sea during a recent earthquake.
The drive was held to free “the undersurface from any pollution and show our community that marine conservation is a shared responsibility,” PNP Maritime Group Deputy Director for Administration Senior Supt. Genesis Tolejano said.
“I hope that people join us in our continuing campaign against human activities that destroy marine resources and help us protect our waters,” he added.
About 80 people joined the drive at Mabini’s Barangay Solo, including professional diver and instructor Allan Lao, who called the town “one of the best diving spots in the world.”
“There are plenty of pawikans here and they are the first victims of the trash we throw in the sea,” he said.
Much is needed be done for communities to understand what it means for the Philippines to be a maritime nation with one of the longest coast lines in the world, PNP Maritime Group Chief Supt. Rodelio Jocson said.
“May pagkukulang talaga, kasi dapat bata pa lang, may awareness na. Alam nila na ang wrapper ng candy ay bawal itapon. Plastic ‘yan at hindi nabubulok. Dapat ma-recycle (Truly, there are shortcomings in this regard, because environmental awareness should be instilled while they’re young. They know that candy wrappers shouldn’t be thrown away. They’re plastic and do not rot. They should be recycled),” he added.
“Kailangan ulit-ulitin mo para mag sink-in. Ipasok sa puso at pagiisip ng mga kababayan natin that we are a maritime [and]archipelagic nation at kailangan pangalagaan natin ito (You have to repeat it over and over to sink in. To put in the hearts and minds of our countrymen that we are a maritime and archipelagic nation, and we have to take care of it),” Jocson said.