The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) spearheaded the cleanup of the Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach on September 17, in celebration of the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) Day 2022.

Over 4,000 volunteers took part in the cleanup activity that yielded at least 4,500 sacks of garbage.

Anchored on the theme “Fighting for Trash Free Seas-Pilipinas: Ending the Flow of Trash at the Source,” the event is one of eight DENR-led cleanup activities in Metro Manila in observance of the ICC Day, which is held annually every third Saturday of September.

According to DENR-Metropolitan Environmental Office (MEO) West OIC Director Rodelina de Villa, the collected garbage consisted mostly of plastic wastes, dried water hyacinth, and marine debris.

“Volunteers from government, private organizations, and private individuals came to the Baywalk’s coastline with their own garbage bags as well,” de Villa said.

She said 3,000 of the 4,500 sacks were provided by the DENR Central Office through the Manila Bay Coordinating Office (MBCO), while 1,500 trash bags came from the DENR-National Capital Region, which includes the DENR-MEO West.

Additional trash bags were sourced from participating national and local government agencies and private organizations, which include the Manila City government, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Philippine Army, Philippine Air Force, Philippine National Police (PNP), PNP-Maritime Group, and Philippine Coast Guard.

Maynilad Water Services Inc., Manila Water Company Inc., and the Dragon Boat Federation of the Philippines also took part in the event.

De Villa said that the Manila Baywalk reflects the collaboration among all sectors that is necessary to address coastal litter through targeted beach cleanup activities.

“However big and daunting the task is, we can make a difference by bringing communities and people together to clean up beaches. Proof of this are organizations and individuals coming together at the Baywalk Dolomite Beach,” de Villa said.

Data from the DENR-MEO-West, whose task is to oversee the maintenance of the 500-meter beach walk, has shown that 147,939 sacks of solid waste have been collected in cleanup activities held from July 12 to September 14.

During the period, a total of 83,109 sacks of water hyacinth were also collected, including 2,224 sacks of marine debris. ###