International Coastal Cleanup Day
MMDA reports some 20,000 volunteers helped in this year’s Manila Bay clean up. Credits to MMDA.

At least 20,000 volunteers picked up trash along the coast of Manila Bay during the observance of the 34th International Coastal Cleanup Day in the Philippines.

Individuals from different government agencies, private companies, and non-government organizations (NGOs) arrived at the scene with their gloves, sacks, and other cleaning materials to support the September 21, 2019 clean-up campaign which was themed as “Battle for Trash Free Manila-Bay”, the Philippines’ main coast once world-renowned for its beautiful sunsets.

The activity was also carried out in other coastline and riverbank areas around Manila Bay:
* SM Mall of Asia
* CCP complex in Pasay City
* Las Piñas–Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA)
* Baseco, Tondo
* Navotas Tanza Marine Tree Park

According to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the number of volunteers was almost three times the number of participants from the 2018 ICC Day.

The MMDA report on the ICC also noted the total volume of 6,000 cubic meters of trash collected off the bay since January 2019. All volunteers were instructed to put into the record the different types of litter they have gathered.
The data will be used by the Manila Bay Task Force and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for mapping a continuing strategic rehabilitation plan for the bay.

The turnout came as a big surprise for MMDA Chair Danilo Lim. “Nakakatuwa talaga ‘yung dami ng volunteers natin. Di namin inexpect na ganito kalaki (It is heartening to note the great number of volunteers. We didn’t expect it to be this big,” he said. He believed that more and more Filipinos are becoming aware of the urgency of cleaning up the coast.

DENR Undersecretary Juan Miguel Cuna also encouraged Filipinos to continue to support the clean-up drive. “Yung mga mamamayan sana po siguraduhin natin na ang mga kaibigan at kapitbahay natin sa ating komunidad ay itigil na po ang pagtatapon ng basura sa lahat ng katubigan lalo na po sa mga estero (I call on citizens to make sure their communities stop dumping waste in the waters especially in canals),” he said.

The annual observance of ICC Day is conducted every third Saturday of September as per Presidential Proclamation No. 470. This global clean-up campaign spearheaded by the Washington-based non-profit environmental advocacy group Ocean Conservancy since 1986 is the most globally-recognized unified effort to protect the ocean against marine debris.

The 2019 International Coastal Clean Up saw different organizations and individuals contributing to the nationwide efforts to clean the country’s coastal areas, among them, Toyota Motor Philippines with their Start Your Impossible ICC nationwide simultaneous clean up and the inspiring para-swimming athletes led by Ernie Gawilan.

SEND congratulations in the comments below to the volunteers of the 2019 ICC in Manila and around the Philippines for protecting our coastal areas and waters.

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