Cleanup yields tons of garbage
Some 250 volunteers gathered 500 sacks of trash, estimated at 3.7 metric tons of garbage, during the 10th year edition of the annual Save Our Seas (SOS) drive at Luknay creek in San Fernando town, Cebu.
The volunteers, composed mostly of residents and employees of the municipal government, Solid Earth Development Corp. (SEDC), and Taiheiyo Cement Philippines, Inc. (TCPI), which organized the cleanup drive.
Representatives of Mines and Geo-Sciences (MBG) in the region, the Community Environment Natural Resources Office (CENRO) based in Argao and the Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP) also participated in the community action.
Chiyuki Sugawara, TCPI senior vice president and plant manager, praised the volunteers for allotting time and effort “to make small changes in our future by simply picking up garbage in our surroundings and in the river.”
He noted that many sea birds and marine animals die for swallowing small fragments of garbage, especially plastic that deteriorates due to ultraviolet rays the sun emits and other natural causes.
Engineer Romeo Gebilaguin, TCPI environment and safety manager, said there is a need to “act now to take care of the environment for our next generation and for them to enjoy the gift of nature.”
Citing a study, he said, 10 million tons of wastes, 70 percent of which are plastics, litter the ocean every year, resulting in the degradation of the marine habitat. “We have to contain this mad-made disaster,” he said. Alberto Gerozaga, CENRO-Argao’s Conservation Development Unit head, echoed Gebilaguin’s statement.
“Households must know and learn how to segregate plastics in order to contain these from accumulating more in our water bodies,” he said.
Also, he stressed the importance of “individual commitment and cooperation.”
The volume of collected garbage tripled this year owing to the increasing inhabitants in the area.
In June last year, the SOS drive generated 1.2 metric tons of garbage, a drop from 2016’s 2.6 metric tons.
Some 150 residents live along the 593-meter lowland portion of Luknay where runoff waters flow from barangays Tonggo and Tinubdan. Rainwaters from SEDC quarry sites behind the plant in Tonggo also run through Luknay.