Saturday, 28 May 2022 09:35

Local divers join forces to suppress infestation of “coral-killers”

GLAN, Sarangani (May 28, 2022) – Around 50 volunteer divers from different provincial and national government offices, and non-government organizations have joined forces during the massive crown of thorns (COT) collection at Barangay Gumasa.

The activity was still part of the celebration of the Sarangani Bay Festival this year which gives more emphasis on environmental-related activities.

On May 27, some 654 COTs were collected along the coastal areas of Gumasa which was considered by Cirilo Lagnason Jr., Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape (SPBS) assistant protected area superintendent, as a “good indicator dahil may nangyayari sa ating efforts in battling the infestation of these coral killers.”

He said “we are happy that we only have this number of COTs collected compared to the thousands per day na nakokolekta natin before because it signifies how our effort is really creating a difference na ating sinimulan for the past 9 months pa.”

Aside from the benefit of the collection activity and giving awareness to the public, Lagnason also emphasized the COT collection as a “driver” to come up with a network of people who are willing to volunteer for the environment.

“We want this movement to be done not only for recreational purposes but to encourage more people to serve the environment,” he added.

To sustain the thrust of the COT collection initiatives, Lagnason also reported that they are also doing activities like “Dap-ag Kapalit Bigas” program.

Lagnason also acknowledged all the stakeholders who took part in the activity, especially the youth.

“It is very important that we have youth participation here kasi sila yung sumusunod at alam nila yung problema na kinakaharap natin ngayon,” he said.

“Definitely,” he added, “they will have the solution when it’s their time to shine na in the next years to come.”

Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Provincial Officer (DENR-PENRO) Maria Elvira Lumayag also challenged the volunteer divers to encourage more volunteers to take up space “in this movement in defeating the COT infestation in Sarangani Bay.”

She also briefly discussed the proper way of collecting the COTs and explained the risk it may cause once mishandled. (Joshua John S. Pantonial/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)

Photo by Martin Fernando Bernad Jr. taken during the massive COT collection at Barangay Gumasa on May 27.

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