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30th ICC yields 145 sacks garbage in Batanes

One hundred seventy volunteers collected 145 sacks of garbage weighing about 2,500 kilograms in a kilometer stretch of shoreline along Loran Beach in Uyugan town in celebration of this year’s International Coastal Clean-Up (ICC).

Most of the collected marine debris are non-biodegradable like plastic materials, rubber, glass containers and metals. Last year, 358 ICC volunteers collected 1,404 kilograms of non-biodegradable wastes in the shorelines of Basco, Mahatao, Ivana and Uyugan.

Led by Uyugan Mayor Jonathan Enrique V. Nanud, this year’s ICC volunteers came from the local government unit, Philippine Coast Guard headed by SN1 Richard Torres and the Philippine National Police under the leadership of PINSP Dominic L. Rosario. They were joined by 65 personnel from the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO).

Prior to the clean-up, PENRO Ecosystems Management Specialist Darcy H. Labrador conducted a short lecture on ICC among the volunteers. She mentioned that “over the past 29 years, more than 10.5 million volunteers from 153 countries have shown their support to this significant event”.

The ecosystems specialist also differentiated ICC from ordinary clean-up saying “in ICC, volunteers are requested not only to pick up litters but also to identify and record the garbage being collected”. Knowing the source of the marine debris makes it easy to support such policy concerning marine conservation,” she added.

The participants were also encouraged to put their acts together in preventing marine debris. “Joining our hands in managing our trash instead of relying on clean-up is moving closer to our common goal of trash-free seas,” the lecturer concluded.

Held on Sept. 18, this year at the site of the National Museum, the 30th ICC was inspired by the theme “Bayanihan para sa Malinis na Katubigan at Karagatan”. # VDB