Around 106 sacks of trash and other marine debris left by typhoons Quinta and Rolly were recently collected in El Nido in northern Palawan by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in MIMAROPA, its partner agencies, and community volunteers.
The regional environment office did the post-typhoon cleanup effort on November 6 through its El Nido-Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area (ENTMRPA) Management Office, according to a statement it released Monday.
Together, the DENR MIMAROPA and the volunteers cleared garbage and trash from some 150 meters of coastline in North Guntai Island. Those collected were mostly styrofoam products, plastic bottles, lids and caps, and glass bottles.
They were believed to have come from neighboring countries based on the labels of the plastic bottles that were brought to the island by strong tides and currents.
“We started at Guntao Island because it faces the West Philippine Sea, which usually makes it the first area to intercept marine debris,” Protected Area Superintendent Mildred Suza explained.
She said the group would go back to the island at the soonest possible time to collect the remaining trash.
“Marami pang naiwan kaya babalik pa kami para mahakot lahat ng basura,” Suza said, claiming more teams would be dispatched to collect trash from the rest of the islands in El Nido.
Meanwhile, DENR MIMAROPA Regional Executive Director Maria Lourdes Ferrer thanked the volunteers whose participation in the activity strengthened a long-time partnership and commitment to protecting El Nido.
“While cleanup activities are more challenging to hold nowadays because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am very grateful that you all managed to support the cleanup while observing strict health protocol,” Ferrer said.
Ferrer and the rest of the DENR MIMAROPA are extending their sincerest gratitude to the Joint Task Force Malampaya led by Capt. Donn Anthony Miraflor; Naval Special Operations Unit 10 led by Lt. Noel Aurellano; Explosives Ordinance Disposal/Provincial Explosives Ordinance Disposal and Canine Unit –Northern Palawan led by PLt Lorevie Canja; El Nido Municipal Police Station led by PMaj. Salvador Tabi; 23rd Marine Corps led by 1Lt Dwight Kent Payosalan; Philippine Coast Guard led by Lt. April Bernal and PO2 Bernard Venar Hermano; and volunteers from The Pavillions El Nido Resort headed by its President, Gemmalyn Crosby.
The collected wastes were segregated by the Protected Area Management Office and were turned over to the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office for proper disposal.
Photo from ENTMRPA Management Office
CAPTION: The DENR MIMAROPA and ENTMRPA personnel with their partner agencies and volunteers during the cleanup drive. | Photo from ENTMRPA Management Office