KORONADAL CITY, SOUTH COTABATO – Over 7,000 kilograms of non-biodegradable wastes in coastal areas and rivers in Soccsksargen Region was collected by more than 1,500 participants on Wednesday (May 18) during the regionwide simultaneous cleanup drive spearheaded by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 12.
The said activity was in line with this year’s Month of the Ocean (MOO) celebration which carries the theme “Protect and Restore Ecosystems and Biodiversity.”
According to the reports of DENR-12 field offices, 1,387 kilos of wastes was collected in Cotabato Province, 1,550 in Sultan Kudarat, 1,410 in South Cotabato, and 3,345.5 in Sarangani Province.
Various non-biodegradable wastes like plastic bags, plastic cups, plastic bottles, bottle caps diapers, expanded polystyrene foams, clothing, tires, bags, wrapping materials, cigarette butts, face masks, and other residual wastes were mostly collected during the cleanup.
Atty. Felix S. Alicer, regional executive director (RED) of DENR-12, said the initiative aimed to heighten public awareness on the importance proper waste management in order to save the oceans and other water bodies.
“We hope that this activity would level up our consciousness in managing our wastes. Our oceans, rivers, and other water bodies are homes to various flora and fauna which play a vital role in our ecosystem. They also provide livelihoods to millions of people which are crucial to our economy. We need to protect them,” he said.
Several partners like concerned local government units, Philippine Army, Philippine National Police, Philippine Coastguard, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Bureau of Fire Protection, Environmental Management Bureau, Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Environment and Natural Resources Academy Tenacious Class, teachers, students, youth sector, residents, and other stakeholders joined the DENR-12 in the regionwide activity.
RED Alicer expressed his gratitude to the participants for taking out of their way to join the cleanup drive and hoped not to get tired in participating on the DENR activities.
“DENR alone cannot carry out its functions effectively without the support of the citizenry, local government units, and partner agencies. We hope that you will continue to join us in protecting our environment,” RED Alicer said.