Beauty queen ap­peals: ‘Stop us­ing plas­tic’

Tempo - - Entertainment -

A FOREN­SIC an­thro­pol­o­gist from Ak­lan will rep­re­sent the Philip­pines in the 8th Miss Scuba In­ter­na­tional pageant which will be held in Kota Kin­a­balu, Malaysia, as she steps up her cam­paign to dis­cour­age the pub­lic to use plas­tic, one of the ma­jor ir­ri­tants in ma­rine preser­va­tion.

“Right now, the Philip­pines is the third largest con­trib­u­tor of plas­tic in the ocean. So we’re re­ally try­ing to get out of the top 3 zone. At the same time, the Philip­pines is blessed with a lot of beau­ti­ful ocean and seas but we are not tak­ing care of it as we should,” says Noelle Fuentes Uy-Tua­zon, dur­ing her ex­clu­sive press send-off, Sun­day. The fi­nals will be held on Nov. 17.

In a re­cent re­port, Ocean Con­ser­vancy claims that China, In­done­sia, the Philip­pines, Thai­land and Viet­nam are spew­ing out as much as 60 per­cent of the plas­tic waste that en­ters the world’s seas.

“At this rate, we would ex­pect nearly one ton of plas­tic for ev­ery three tons of fish in our oceans by 2025 – an un­think­able num­ber with dras­tic eco­nomic and en­vi­ron­men­tal con­se­quences,” says Ni­cholas Mal­los, di­rec­tor of Ocean Con­ser­vancy’s ma­rine de­bris pro­gram.

In the Philip­pines, to counter this grow­ing dump in the ocean, Miss Scuba Philip­pines Na­tional Di­rec­tor Cindy Mad­duma and her team have joined ef­forts to talk to restau­rant own­ers na­tion­wide to stop us­ing plas­tic straws. “A re­us­able metal straw is a good sub­sti­tute if they re­ally need to use straws.” Tua­zon, 26, says: “The good thing about Miss Scuba Philip­pines is that you have a group of amaz­ing women who are tak­ing on the re­spon­si­bil­ity re­lat­ing to ma­rine con­ser­va­tion. We are also try­ing to raise aware­ness in our coun­try about the sit­u­a­tion. We are also try­ing to strengthen the move by part­ner­ing with lo­cal gov­ern­ment units. When Bo­ra­cay re­opened, we con­ducted co­ral reef as­sess­ment, clean-up and cre­ated cam­paigns that tar­geted not only the youth but gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials.”

“We were once the promis­ing coun­try. We have all the nat­u­ral re­sources, we have ev­ery­thing. We just need to uti­lize it. We need good lead­ers. We need good men­tors, ad­vi­sors who love our coun­try and want to help the Philip­pines,” the beauty queen says.

NOELLE Fuentes Uy-Tua­zon

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