22 September 2015

Olongapo gathers 26,000 volunteers to cleanup waterways

The local government of Olongapo City led by Mayor Rolen Paulino gathered 26,541 volunteers for International Coastal Cleanup 2015 dubbed “Making Riverth Possible¨ last Saturday (Sept. 19) in efforts to spread environmental awareness among its residents in the city.

Olongapo City Mayor Rolen Paulino led students, government employees, non-government organizations, barangay officials and residents to clean up drainage, creeks, rivers and the city’s coastline.

“What we did this year is not only cleaning up our shoreline, we decided to clean all possible water ways in the inner parts of the city because all of the trash will eventually pile up in our shoreline or cause blocking of our canals which will eventually lead to flooding.” Paulino said.

In 2013 Olongapo city recorded 7,729 volunteers for the same event and 11,128 in 2014 making this city the biggest delegation in the province of Zambales.

The number this year more than doubled.

“Nakikitira lang tayo dito sa mundo, kaya dapat linisin natin ang ating tinitirahan, katulad ng loob ng bahay natin, dapat malinis din ang ating kapaligiran,” Paulino told volunteer residents of Barangay Kalaklaklan, one of the 29 cleanup sites in the city.

The local government of Olongapo has been dredging its rivers, cleaning and repairing its drainages after being heavily flooded in 2013, which was also the cause of a leptospirosis outbreak.

“Our rivers haven’t been dredged for decades, and drainages were neglected. But now we have purchased several heavy equipment to do the job,” Paulino added.

“We need people participation in cleaning up our waterways and this is a good event to do this, aside from cleaning up, what is more important is our awareness campaign that we should not kill our rivers by making it our backyard trash bins,” he added.

The breakdown of the attendees he added are sa follows; Olongapo LGU (Halfmoon Beach, in Barangay Kalaklan) 1,312, Barangay Asinan 303, Barangay Banicain 128, Barangay Barretto 2,432, Barangay East.Bajac.Bajac. 1,571, Barangay West Bajac Bajac 2,217, Barangay East Tapinac 2,003, Barangay West Tapinac 183, Barangay Kalaklan 831, Barangay New Cabalan 3,930, Barangay, Mabayuan 565, Barangay Gordon Heights 1,489, Barangay Sta Rita 1,625, Barangay New Ilalim 109, Barangay New Kabbae 850, Barangay Old Cab 390, Barangay New Kalalake 1,213, Barangay Pag- Asa 390 and 5000 more who pre registered at SM Olongapo.

“I am very happy with the turnout during the cleanup, it only showed that our residents care for our environment more and more as evidenced by the increasing number of volunteers every year,” Paulino added.

A week before the huge turnout of volunteers during the cleanup, 16 recyclable boats battled it out during the recyclable regatta 2015 which is part of the International Coastal Cleanup “Making Riverth Possible” held at Driftwood beach in Barangay Barretto.

Barangay Kalaklan took home 1st place while the Lighthouse Marina Resort took home 2nd place and the Army Reserve Olongapo settled for 3rd.


[1] Students and residents of Olongapo City pick up garbage along the shoreline of Barangay Barretto.

[2] Olongapo City Mayor talks to volunteers before sending them off to clean in Barangay Kalaklan during the International Coastal Cleanup dubbed "Making Riverth Possible.¨ A total of 26,541 volunteered for the said event.