Press Release
September 22, 2018

Villar leads LPPCHEA, coastal cleanup for Int'l Coastal Clean-Up Day

SENATOR Cynthia A. Villar led coast lovers and environmental warriors in picking debris and garbage littering the stretch of the 175-hectares Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA) in celebration of this year's International Coastal Clean-Up Day.

Villar was quick to shed off her working clothes and put on her gloves as she joined some 1,352 volunteers clean up trash in the 20 stations set up within the Las Pinas Paranaque Wetland Park, one of Ramsar Convention's Wetlands of International Importance.

Villar, who is the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, said the public's cooperation in the mission to protect and conserve the environment is amply reflected in this year's theme of the International Coastal Clean-up Day, which is "Tayo ang Solusyon sa Polusyon."

'I am happy to see so many volunteer cleaners this morning! The high number of volunteers for this cleanup drive is a testament to the growing consciousness among Filipinos of the importance of taking care of our environment, especially our marine resources. The challenge of preserving and conserving Mother Nature is a gargantuan task but I am confident that if we continue to work together, we will attain victory in the long run,' Villar said.

The senator added: 'We have seen the wrath of Mother Nature in the death of many of our kababayans in Itogon, Benguet and in Naga City in Cebu who abused the bounty of their natural resources, and in the thousands of houses and properties washed away by massive floods caused by clogged drainages and waterways. Let us not waver from our commitment to be warriors of the environment and strive to stop all forms of abuses that will destroy our natural wealth.'

Joining Villar at the Las Pinas Paranaque Wetland Park clean-up were Environment Sec. Roy A. Cimatu, actress Antoinette Taus of Community Organize for Resource Allocation (CORA), and representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Boyscouts of the Philippines, Allegro Micro Systems, iSupport Worldwide, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Toyota Philippines, Xavier School, Haribon Foundation.

LF Logistics Philippines, Philippine Retirement Authority, CAVITEX, TIEZA, Camp Aguinaldo Elementary School, Philippine Navy, Philippine Coast Guard, the local governments of Las Piñas and Parañaque, UST Junior High School, ASPAC International, Inner Wheel Clubs of the Philippines, District 383 Las Piñas East National High School,Maynilad, Filinvest, Landbank and MB Sunset.

The volunteers, divided into two groups as trash collectors and trash sorters,were distributed all over Las Pinas Paranaque Wetland Park, which straddles the cities of Las Piñas and Parañaque. Simultaneous coastal clean-up activities were also held at SM by the Bay (Mall of Asia), Navotas, Malabon, PUP Manila, and Roxas Boulevard.

Las Pinas Paranaque Wetland Park is a 175-hectares mangrove forest and marine habitat that serves as sanctuary for 84 bird species, including migratory birds from as far as Siberia. It is the breeding site of the vulnerable Philippine Duck and supports at least 1,000 of the remaining 100,000 remaining Black-Winged Stilts in the world.

The International Coastal Cleanup (ICC),spearheaded by the global environmental group Ocean Conservancy, started in 1986 as a communal effort to eliminate ocean trash. Since then, hundreds of thousands of volunteers in over 100 countries gather every year on beaches, coasts, rivers, waterways and underwater dive sites to remove trash and record information on the debris collected.

In a report by Ocean Conservancy, the Philippines was ranked as the top participating country in the 2017 coastal cleanup, with 214,165 Filipino volunteers.

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