Thousands join Manila Bay cleanup

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THOUSANDS of volunteers turned up for the 32nd International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) Day in Manila Bay on Saturday.

At 9 a.m., 10,849 volunteers have showed up at Baywalk area along Roxas Boulevard to pick up trash and debris from the shoreline, according to Belle Borromeo, head of the city’s Department of Public Services.

The volunteers mostly came from various schools, colleges, and universities in and outside Manila and corporate firms such as Asian Terminals, Inc., Petron, Magsaysay Group of Companies, Manila Hotel, Rizal Park Hotel, Toyota Motor Philippines, San Miguel Corp., Samsung Philippines, Republic Cement, and Unilever Philippines, among others.

Employees of various government offices were also present as well as civic-minded groups like the Rotary Clubs.

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Members of the Philippine Navy, Philippine Coast Guard and the Manila Police District also helped.

“On behalf of Mayor (Joseph) Estrada and the people of the City of Manila, we would like to express our most profound gratitude to all volunteers who are here this morning in an effort to clean our famous Manila Bay,” said Ericson Alcovendaz, city administrator.

With the ICC Day 2017’s theme “Together for Our Ocean,” Alcovendaz called on Filipinos to “renew our commitment and cooperation so that we may succeed in our mission to rescue our oceans, rivers, and waterways, and preserve them for the next generations.”

Held every third Saturday of September, ICC is the largest volunteer effort for the ocean and waterways initiated in 1986 by Ocean Conservancy, a non-government organization based in Washington, D.C., to engage volunteers in collecting marine debris from the world’s waterways.

About 90 countries, including the Philippines, regularly participate in this yearly event. The Philippines cancelled its coastal cleanup day activities on September 17 last year because of the declaration of state of lawlessness by the national government.

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