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About 300 residents, local government officials and government personnel participated in the estero cleanup spearheaded by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the island province of Batanes on July 16, this year.

Marking the launch of the Adopt-An-Estero project of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO), the cleanup yielded more or less 75 kilograms of solid waste.

The project is implemented along the Padangan Creek and San Antonio Creek, both in Basco, the capital town of Batanes.

The two creeks are along the urban barangays of Basco. Padangan Creek covers Barangays Kayvaluganan, Kayhuvokan and Kaychanarianan with a total households of 1,648 while San Antonio Creek in Barangay San Antonio covers 473 households.

Basco town is the entry point of tourists and the site of most of the hotels and other lodging houses in the province. The tourists increase the waste generated by the residents.

“The creeks are regular cleanup sites by environmental stakeholders during special events. However, their cleanliness is not maintained, thus, the need for their adoption, PENRO management services chief Victoria Baliuag, project proponent,” said.

Baliuag added that cleanup of the creeks with aggregate length of 2,610 meters was timely as Typhoon Falcon hit the island province a day after the activity. The typhoon filled the intermittent creeks with water that should have brought the solid waste to the West Philippine Sea which provides abundant supply of fishes and other coastal resources for the Ivatans.

To ensure sustainability of collaborative efforts on clean water and solid waste management, the PENRO will initiate a signing of memorandum of agreement between and among the DENR and the adoptor. Capacity-building and weekly monitoring on the enforcement of solid waste management ordinances by the barangay officials will also be conducted. #