‘ONE TIME, BIG TIME’ CLEANUP. A group of teenagers with their garbage bags as they take part in the ‘One Time, Big Time’ coastal cleanup initiated by the Iloilo City government on Saturday (March 30, 2019). The efforts of the City’s Environment and Natural Resources Office will continue as it vows to monitor the cleanliness of the coastlines. (Photo by Gail Momblan)
ILOILO CITY -- The City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) committed to monitor the cleanliness of the coastal villages after the “One Time, Big Time” coastal cleanup initiated by the city government on Saturday.
Engr. Noel Hechanova, head of CENRO, said that they will partner with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 (Western Visayas) in monitoring the cleanliness of the coastlines.
Monitoring teams will be formed and they will tap village officials and seek the cooperation of every resident for the coastlines to be litter-free.
The clean-up drive kicked off at Barangay Bitoon in Jaro and moved towards Sto. Niño Sur in Arevalo district to raise awareness on coastal villages, he said.
“It started with the clean-up drive and will soon be followed by information-education materials distribution, and campaigns on anti-littering, seepage management, mangrove protection, among others,” he said.
Around 800 volunteers from non-government organizations, national agencies, public and private schools, city employees, residents, and village officials took part in the drive.
The personnel of the Maritime Police, and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and industry partners also did an offshore cleanup.
However, Hechanova admitted that Iloilo's 20-kilometer coastline is now polluted as coastal villages have increasing levels of coliform bacteria.
“Septic tanks are the major contributor of water pollution,” he said, adding that a sewerage system can address the problem.
Iloilo City Mayor Joe Espinosa III, in his speech, said the city hopes to replicate the environmental rehabilitation efforts done on Boracay Island and Manila Bay.
“We do this for the Filipinos, for the Ilonggos. President Duterte had proved to us that extra-ordinary measures can solve problems and improve our country,” he said. (PNA)