ALABEL, Sarangani (September 16, 2022) – The municipality of Alabel joined in the celebration of the 2022 International Coastal Clean-Up (ICC) through a simultaneous clean-up drive in the coastal barangays of Kawas, Ladol, and Maribulan on September 16.
More than a hundred volunteers from offices and partner agencies of the municipal government of Alabel participated in the coastal clean-up in a bid to achieve “trash-free seas.”
The ICC is the world’s largest one-day volunteer effort to clean the aquatic environment, observed every 3rd Saturday of September since 1985, and declared by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 470, series of 2003.
In its 37th year, the 2022 ICC is themed “International Coastal Clean-Up: Fighting for Trash-Free Seas, Pilipinas!” encouraging volunteer organizations and individuals all over the country and around the globe to take part in this cause.
According to Engr. Allan Rivera, municipal environment and natural resources officer, Alabel held the coastal clean-up a day before the actual ICC Day in order “to generate a bigger participation” from volunteers all over town.
He said the activity is aimed at “conserving aquatic ecosystems, educating and raising more awareness to the public on debris issues and their impacts on people, wildlife, and the environment.”
It will also become an avenue to “provide information that will guide and influence local governments, corporations, and industries, in developing smart solutions to the marine debris problem.”
During the clean-up drive, volunteers were urged to remove trash from the beaches and waterways, identify the source of debris, and change the behaviors that allow trash into the water in the first place.
Mayor Vic Paul Salarda and wife Lilibeth Salarda, the municipal administrator, also participated in the coastal clean-up, along with employees of MENRO and of the provincial government from the Environmental Conservation and Protection Center.
According to the National Geographic, there are “5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean, and of that mass, 269,000 tons float on the surface, while some four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the deep sea.”
Rivera noted that the garbage situation in “Sarangani Bay is not extremely alarming” but encouraged locals to “not let our guards down” and “maging culture natin at maging lifestyle na naglilinis sa ating karagatan.”
He said “tuloy-tuloy po yung ating IEC and behavioral change communication doon sa mga coastal puroks at iba pang mga waste generators, upang masiguro na makikiisa yung community sa pagpapanatili ng kalinisan, kasi sila rin yung nakikinabang sa kalinisan ng karagatan,” Rivera said. (Jori Mae R. Samillano/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)
? Jake Narte