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‘Citizen scientists’ to gather on Saturday for Metro Manila coastal cleanup

/ 01:41 PM September 19, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is set to take part in the celebration of International Coastal Clean-up (ICC) on Saturday, September 21, in an effort to help address the issue of ocean trash.

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During the event, volunteers will serve as “citizen scientists” as they will also be tasked to record the trash they have recovered in coastal areas and riverbanks. The data collected will be compiled and submitted to Ocean Conservancy, a Washington based non-government organization, for campaigns and policymaking.

In Metro Manila, the event will focus on six sites namely Baseco in Tondo, Manila; the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA); SM by the Bay in Pasay City; Navotas Centennial Park; Gloria Maris, CCP Complex in Pasay City; and the riverbanks of Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Sta. Mesa in Manila.

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(From left to right) Environmental Management Bureau NCR Regional Director Atty. Domingo M. Clemente Jr., DENR-NCR Assistant Regional Director for Management Services Gwendolyn Bambalan, DENR-NCR Regional Executive Director Jacqueline Caancan, and SM by the Bay Mall Manager John Gomez. RYAN LEAGOGO / INQUIRER.net

Clean-up activities will also be held in other waterways in the National Capital Region (NCR).

DENR-NCR Regional Executive Director Jacqueline Caancan said that the celebration of ICC is very timely, especially with the ongoing rehabilitation of the Manila Bay.

“Mayroon na tayong designated na mga volunteers na may kanya-kanya silang assignment from sorting ng waste, mayroong magcha-characterize and then ito ay tuloy-tuloy. In fact this week nag-train tayo ng volunteers who are going to do the audit [ng wastes],” Caancan said.

“‘Ilan ang plastic cup, ilan ang bote?’ May gagawa nun. Iso-sort yun. Hindi katulad ng ordinary clean-up na pasok sa sako. Titingnan yun. Then all those data will be consolidated sa opisina sa DENR-NCR and it will be submitted to the Ocean Conservancy,” she added.

Caancan said more than 20,000 volunteers are expected to join the Metro Manila clean-up drives. In SM by the Bay area alone, some 10,000 volunteers are expected to participate while another 7,000 volunteers will be in Baseco area.

Caancan said other regional offices will also have their own coastal clean-up drives in relation to ICC.

“All 16 regions kasama yan. May kanya-kanya. Kakaiba lang ang Metro Manila kasi mayroon tayong Manila Bay rehab so pati tributaries pinapasok natin,” Caancan explained.

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ICC 2018 in numbers

According to the data shared by the DENR-NCR, over 5,900 trash bags were filled in ICC 2018 in Metro Manila, equivalent to over 580,200 kilos of trash.

Food wrappers topped the list of trash items collected at 39,496 pieces followed by foam pieces (23,875 pieces), tires (21,392 pieces), plastic beverage bottles (21,182 pieces), six-pack holders (19,887 pieces), and construction materials (16,696 pieces).

Other items collected included metal bottle caps (13,851 pieces); paper cups and plates (11,403 pieces); forks, knives, and spoons (10,305 pieces); and shoes or slippers (5,508 pieces).

“Kailangan natin ng volunteers. Ito na ang ating pagkakataon ngayong International Coastal Clean-up para kumbaga we make a difference. Tumaya tayo para sa atina kalikasan. Lumahok taya sa paglilinis ng ating coastal areas,” Caancan said.

ICC was first organized in 1986 by Ocean Conservatory and has since been celebrated around the world, with the Philippines starting to participate in 1994.

In 2003, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared every third Saturday of September each year as the International Coastal Clean-up Day through Proclamation No. 470.

In Metro Manila, the event is celebrated in coordination with the 17 local government units of the capital region, as well as other government and non-government organizations, academic institutions, and private sector.

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TAGS: citizen scientists, coastal cleanup, DENR, SM
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