Thursday, September 30, 2010

Gov't officials, beauty queens, environmentalists join hands in Manila

Government officials, beauty queens and
environmentalists joined hands in leading the 25th International
Coastal Cleanup Day at the coastlines of Manila Bay on Saturday, the
eve of the first anniversary of the devastation caused by tropical
cyclone “Ondoy" (Ketsana).

On Sept. 26 last year, Ondoy dumped floodwaters in a vast area of
Metro Manila and nearby provinces, killing scores of people and
leaving thousands of others homeless, aside from destroying billions
of pesos worth of private and public properties, including
infrastructure facilities.

Volunteers from the academe, national government agencies, concerned
local government units (LGUs) and stakeholders in private sector
joined Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
Secretary Ramon Paje in cleaning up the Manila Bay coastlines.

Paje was in Bacoor, Cavite together with Cavite Congresswoman Lani
Mercado, Governor Juanito Victor Remulla Jr., Bacoor Mayor Strike B.
Revilla and Miss Earth beauties.

Participants gathered at the reclaimed area near the Coastal Road
Extension in Bacoor to clean up the coast.

Similar environmental activities were held at the Mall of Asia area in
Pasay City and along Roxas Boulevard.

Environmental group EcoWaste Coalition renewed its drive against
plastic bags and "environmentally harmful" practices, reminding
Filipino consumers to shun the “throw-away" culture to restore
ecological balance and health.

“Typhoon Ondoy taught us in a deeply painful and costly way that
practices which defile and destroy the ecosystems have no place in our
fragile planet and should stop," EcoWaste president Roy Alvarez said.

EcoWaste and allied groups pushed for concerted action to curb crass
consumerism practices, such as the "thoughtless" use and disposal of
plastic bags and other single-use packaging materials.

The group recommended the use of practical reusable alternatives to
plastic bags, including the “bayong" (traditional market bag) and
other baskets made of biodegradable plant materials such as anahaw,
bamboo, buri, coconut, isay, kalagimay, nipa, rattan and water lily.

Consumers can buy or even design and sew their own reusable bags from
used materials such as rice sacks, flour bags, old curtains and
worn-out clothes, Ecowaste said.


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