19 November 2013

Subic Freeport stakeholders set monthly river/coastal clean-up

Thousands of volunteers joined on Saturday the kick-off ceremony for the monthly river and coastal clean-up, a multi-sectoral project that aims to maintain beauty and biodiversity of rivers and coastal areas in the Subic Bay area.

The activity is a joint project of the Subic Bay Metropolitan authority (SBMA), the city government of Olongapo headed by its Environment Sanitation and Management Office (ESMO), the Subic Bay Workforce Development Foundation, Inc., the Department of Education (DepEd), and other volunteer organizations.

The first activity drew around 2,000 students, company workers, government employees and members of community organizations from the Subic Bay Freeport and Olongapo City, who undertook clean-up in various areas of assignments.

These included the beaches of Subic Bay, and the coastline of two main channels of freshwater from the city of Olongapo that empties into Subic Bay: the Kalaklan and Kalalake river channels.

SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia said the project is part of a comprehensive program of the agency, in cooperation with stakeholders, in maintaining the cleanliness and healthy eco-system of all water bodies that flow into Subic Bay.

“These channels bring into the bay whatever is carelessly thrown into them. Some of these debris are snagged along the river banks during low tide, so we’ll pick them up before they reach the beaches,” Garcia said.

Garcia explained that a large part of tourists coming down to the Subic Freeport and Olongapo City go to the beaches either for swimming or some form of water sports.

“A vacation in Subic or Olongapo will never be complete without the sea and the beach. These are our major attractions here,” he said.

That is why, Garcia added, stakeholders here are putting great effort into maintaining and preserving Subic Bay by conducting coastal clean-up drives regularly.

SBMA Labor Department manager Severo Pastor, Jr. said that after this weekend’s kick-off clean-up, the activity will regularly take place every second Saturday of the month.

“People are joining because we will not only be cleaning our rivers and beaches; we will also be ensuring a better future for our children, their communities and their livelihood here,” Pastor said. (RAV/MPD-SBMA)

Participants in the river/coastline cleanup comb beaches in the Subic Bay area during the kick-off of a monthly cleanup program initiated by stakeholders in the Subic Bay Freeport area. The project is being supported by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, the Olongapo City government, as well as various locator companies, schools and community organizations in the Subic Bay Freeport and Olongapo City.