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Every 3rd Saturday of September, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) participates in the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC),the world’s largest volunteer effort for ocean health, in order to get rid of trash, provide information and raise environmental awareness.

With this year’s theme: “Battle for Litter-Free Seas”, the ICC will be conducted on the 5-kilometer coastal stretch from Brgy. Sto. Niño Sur, Arevalo to Calumpang, Molo, Iloilo City, which aims to clear the coastline from non-biodegradable litters.

As an expected output of ICC 2018, stakeholders had a better appreciation of the importance of dedicating efforts to have a trash free-seas, coasts, and other significant water bodies. In addition, 5-kilometer, a 16-kilometer stretch of 24 coastal barangays will be cleaned up with the coordination of the city government, covering all coastal barangays in the city. Thus, a total of 21-kilometers are up for coastal cleanup on September 21, 2019.

Furthermore, the DENR 6 chief encourages more volunteers to participate in this yearly event in saving our oceans.

“This International Coastal Clean-up and other cleanup activities only show us thepressing need to properly manage our wastes and not allow it to end up polluting our coastal and marine waters. We are looking forward to a stronger participation and involvement from the stakeholders to implement the proper solid waste management at the household level,” DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Francisco E. Milla, Jr. said.

“The battle for litter-free seas will never end. This will continue until we all manage our trash, until we see no more trash in our coastal areas and seas,” he added.

Last year, a total of four hundred ninety seven (497) trash bags with an estimated of 3,496.3 kilograms were collected by the 1,242 volunteers during the cleanup along the 5-kilometer coastline stretch from Arevalo District to Molo District. Among the top ten collected garbage were: 1. Food wrappers (7,047); 2. Plastic grocery bags (3,858); 3. Other plastic/foam packaging (3,733); 4. Tiny Plastic Pieces  (3,357); 5. Other Plastic Bags (3,101); 6. Straws/Stirrers (2,982); 7. Shoes/Slippers (2,723); 8. Tiny Foam pieces (2,170); 9. Cigarette Butts (2,097); and 10. Takeout containers (1910).

Efforts to clean-up the oceans are in line with DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu’s thrust to promote clean water and strengthen compliance to the provisions outlined in the Clean Water Act.

Other interested parties who wished to join this international event as volunteers could visit DENR Western Visayasfacebook page, and leave a message or may opt to call DENR 6-CDD Tel. no. 5034687 or 09465647013./DENR 6