As part of efforts to keep the coastline clean and to preserve marine life, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the Visayas led about 10,000 volunteers in clearing garbage from rivers, creeks, canals and coastal areas.
Nearly 30,000 kilos of trash were collected in a day-long activity aimed at removing the waste that threatens wildlife and humans.
The trash has affected the economy, tourism and navigation, the DENR said in a statement on International Coastal Clean Up Day on Saturday.
In Eastern Visayas, participants representing different sectors joined the activity spearheaded this time by the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary Eastern Visayas District.
The volunteers, mostly students from all the colleges in the city, were to clean up from Barangay Naungan to Macabug in Ormoc City.
Glycel, a First Year Education student, said the importance of the day’s activity is for students like her to preserve the environment.
She said garbage should be properly disposed, so as to protect the environment.
Marcelino Paulo, 81, a resident of Limay town in Bataan said that only a few trash came from his area and these are immediately burned.
He claimed most of the garbage come from Metro Manila and were thrown into rivers and creeks and found its way to Manila Bay.
Meanwhile, DENR Central Visayas Director Dr. Isabelo Montejo said the tourism sector will be affected as tourists will be discouraged to get around the coastal areas because of heaps or piles of trash and eventually no income or livelihood will be generated.
The most common items found were cigarette butts, food wrappers, plastic bottles and caps, straws, grocery bags, glass bottles and beverage cans.
The ICC is a 30-year-old global event initiated by the Ocean Conservancy, a non-government organization based in Washington, D.C., United States.
Its aim is to engage people to remove trash from beaches and waterways around the world, identify the sources of the debris and change the behavioral patterns that contribute to pollution.
In Pagadian city, the activity was relevant to the conservation of marine resources as this affects the canneries in the region.
Tito Gadon, DENR regional conservation and development chief, urged the people, especially coastal dwellers, to refrain from disposing garbage on rivers and seashores so as not to destroy “our natural resources.”
He said there is a need to protect the sea since it is the source of fish of the more than a dozen canneries in the region.