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2,000 volunteers join Subic Bay Freeport coastal clean-up

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Sept. 23 — Some 2,000 volunteers consisting of students, workers from locator-companies in this free port, and employees of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) participated in a clean-up activity along the shoreline of Subic Bay over the weekend.

Other volunteers also cleaned up key areas in the different barangays of neighboring Olongapo City under the Shore It Up! International Coastal Clean-up program sponsored by the Metro Pacific Investments Foundation (MPIF).

The clean-up program was part of the International Coastal Clean-up Day, which was locally organized by The Lighthouse Marina Resort, and Ocean Conservancy, a non-profit advocacy group that promotes healthy and diverse ecosystems.

Prior to the activity, the SBMA signed a memorandum of understanding with MPIF for the Shore It Up! program, agreeing to be partner-organizers for this year’s clean-up.

SBMA chairman Roberto V. Garcia said that the SBMA supports the activity because it is in line with the agency's mandate of protecting the environment.

Garcia noted that the SBMA, through its Ecology Center, has initiated similar annual clean-up drives years before partnering with private organizations for a bigger clean-up effort.

“We have followed this up with other measures to protect the vast natural forest and coastline located within the Freeport, particularly with the ‘No Plastic Policy’ to help control pollution of both land and bodies of water here,” he said.

“We hope that this clean-up activity would encourage people not just from the Subic Bay Freeport but also from other areas to commit in protecting Mother Nature,” he added.

For their part, MPIF vice president for corporate communications Melody del Rosario said they are “very happy to have the SBMA as partner” for this activity.

The International Coastal Clean-up Day is an annual event, which began in 1986 through the efforts of former Ocean Conservancy employee Linda Maraniss.

Since then, over 150 countries around the world have joined this activity, which is observed every third Saturday of September. (PNA)


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