As early as five o’clock in the morning, hundreds of volunteers led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 gathered at Sto. Niño Sur, Arevalo, Iloilo to join the first ever simultaneous activity nationwide leading towards the achievement of the goals of World Environment Day 2023.

The DENR 6 regional office have conducted a coastal cleanup in celebration of the World Environment Day on June 5, 2023.

Close to five hundred volunteers coming from DENR 6, its line bureaus – the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) and Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) – and other agencies, such as the Department of Tourism led by Regional Director Crisanta Marlene P. Rodriguez, Coast Guard Station – Iloilo led by Commander Paterno Belarmino Jr, Provincial Government ENRO led by Atty. Cesar Emmanuel P. Buyco, Jr., and PNP Maritime Group – Iloilo MARPSTA led by Police Major Wilmar B Bolivar, have joined the environmental activity. Also joining the volunteers is a group of medical responders named Heartss, Inc. led by its Organizing Founder Jacqueline Catinan, and local folks were also present.

A total of 109.5 sacks equivalent to 1,167.2 kilos of plastic wastes were collected during the activity. The DENR 6 through its Conservation and Development Division (CDD) in collaboration with EMB and PENRO Iloilo teams, mapped out six segments from Sto. Niño Sur down to Arevalo-Oton boundary in Brgy. Alegre covered during the coastal cleanup. Each segment stretches to 400 meters with a total length of 2.4 kilometer. Data gathered revealed most of the wastes collected are grocery bags and residuals.

“This year’s Environment Month theme is “No to Waste: Advancing Circular Economy to #beatplasticpollution” and we continue to urge everyone to properly manage wastes, especially plastics. But we are happy to note that there are now less plastic wastes collected during the activity compared in the past years,” said DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran.

“This only means that our coastal communities are now embracing the importance of keeping the environment free from plastic litters. Our education campaign is now paying off,” he added.

The nationwide simultaneous WED activity was spearheaded by the DENR Central Office and carried out by all DENR regional offices and line bureaus. The field offices have also joined in by conducting either a coastal cleanup, mangrove or tree planting activities.