04 May 2015

Zambales tops 2014 ICC volunteer turnout

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — Zambales has been commended by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) Philippines as the province with the most number of volunteers who participated in the 2014 coastal cleanup project.

In an awarding ceremony held during the 45th Earth Day celebration last April 22, Commodore Gerry Reyes, director for marine environmental protection of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA), said that Zambales turned out a total of 55,151 volunteers who joined the September 27 coastal cleanup last year.

This number was almost double the 30,000-participant target set by officials of the2014 International Coastal Cleanup-Zambales (ICC-Zambales), after the 27,000 turnout set in 2013.

The coastal cleanup project was held in more than 100 sites spread out across Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Olongapo City, and along the length of the Zambales coast.

In the April 22 ceremony, Reyes, assisted by RAdm Valentin Prieto Jr. and Commodore Salvador Tiangco Jr., both of the PCGA, presented the citation to 2014 International Coastal Cleanup-Zambales (ICCZ) officials led by Zambales Vice Gov. Ramon Lacbain II, Lighthouse Marina Resort Legacy Foundation director Zedrik Avecilla, and Ayala Harbor Point Mall general manager Derrick Manuel.

Reyes noted that the ICC-Zambales came out with a heavy turnout despite the postponement of the project from September 20 to September 27 due to Typhoon Mario, which caused heavy flooding in large areas in Metro Manila, as well as parts of Zambales on September 19.

In the 2013 cleanup, ICC-Zambales came up with 27,000, the second biggest number of volunteers in the whole country. The Philippines itself, with a total of 182,408 volunteers, also had the second biggest number of participants among all the countries that joined the ICC in 2013.

The Zambales group began joining the ICC in 2007 when 30 volunteer-employees from The Lighthouse Marina Resort in the free port participated in the global event.

Since then, the number of participants in ICC-Zambales has astronomically grown to 800 volunteers in 2009, 2,000 participants in 2010, 4,000 in 2011, 14,000 in 2012, and 27,000 in 2013.

The ICC, an environmental event that is now celebrated every 3rd Saturday of September by volunteers from 92 countries and locations around the world, is being hailed as an effective project to raise awareness in environmental protection and to mobilize citizen action to effect changes toward this purpose.

Through the data collected from the annual cleanup, innovations have been made to develop materials, manufacturing processes and products that will interrupt the cycle of pollution. (HEE/MPD-SBMA)

2014 International Coastal Cleanup-Zambales (ICCZ) officials led by Zambales Vice Gov. Ramon Lacbain II Zedrik Avecilla and Derrick Manuel, along with SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia, receive recognition from Commodore Gerry Reyes and other PCGA officials for coming up with the biggest number of volunteers for the 2014 cleanup project. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)