Trash collection along Cagayan rivers nets 2,200 kilos of garbage
TUGUEGARAO CITY — At least 2,200 kilos of garbage such as plastic wrappers, drinking straws, bottle caps, and Styrofoam were collected from the riverbanks in this city and neighboring areas traversed by the Pinacanauan River in Cagayan province on Saturday.
The activity, organized to celebrate the International Coastal Cleanup Day, was participated in by 500 environmental partners and stakeholders from the business sector, national government agencies, and municipal and barangay local government units.
The cleanup at the Pinacanauan River, which traverses Tuguegarao City and the town of Peñablanca in Cagayan, was done under the theme “Clean Seas for Healthy Fisheries.”
The Pinacanauan River, an 83-kilometer tributary of Cagayan River that crosses through the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela, is also a known tourist attraction and a protected area in Cagayan, as it passes through the Peñablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape that hosts numerous karst formations and underground chambers and wild flora.
Garbage must be properly disposed of and not in rivers, especially plastic materials that end up in the sea, which are likely to destroy marine biodiversity, said Department of Environment and Natural Resources Regional Director Gwendolyn Bambalan in an interview on Saturday.
One of the volunteers, Maria Angelica Perez, a 21-year-old student leader, lamented that they gathered mostly nonbiodegradable items that are “detrimental to the environment.”
The International Coastal or World Cleanup Day involves multisectoral marine environment and ocean conservation efforts in line with the target of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).
It was coordinated by the global organization Let’s Do It! World, from its headquarters located in Tallinn, Estonia.
The first World Cleanup Day was organized in Sept. 15, 2018.
Cleanup leader Kristine Iris Ceballos, a manager of a mall in Tuguegarao, said they had been implementing year-round sustainable programs called the green movement in the province.
Ceballos emphasized that their operations are aligned with sustainable and environment-friendly practices focused on energy conservation, solid waste reduction and water conservation. INQ