Tourists raise trash choking shorelines

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TUGUEGARAO CITY: Increasing influx of tourists and booming industries have similarly increased dumping of garbage, which in turn, becomes a great concern among residents and fishermen in coastal towns of Batanes and Cagayan provinces.

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Bambina Cenal, a resident of Amunitan Village in Gonzaga, Cagayan, has worried aloud over the increasing garbage dumped affecting their fishing livelihood and has sought the help of authorities to prevent the pollution caused by garbage dumping in coastal areas.

“We are calling on the authorities to curb the increasing amount of garbage which is becoming rampant along Batanes and Cagayan waters,” Cenal said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) have also confirmed the problem uncovering the dumping of garbage during a clean up drive dubbed “Scubasurero.”

“Scubasurero” was conducted in observance of the Ocean Month this May to address the problem of garbage dumping, according to Forester Enrique Pasion, DENR’s Coastal Resources Management Division chief.

DENR and BFAR officials said they are conducting massive solid-waste management campaigns in the coastal zones of Batanes and Cagayan provinces.

Officials said they have also strengthened partnership with local governments to regulate solid-waste dumping “to save marine resources as well as establish their sanitary landfill and educate their constituents on proper solid-waste management.”

“We are also appealing to the public, especially those living in the coastal zones, to help monitor and protect the marine resources against illegal activities, including illegal dumping of solid wastes in the seas, as these greatly affect livelihood and the fishing industry in general,” Pasion said.

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