SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – Organizers of the International Coastal Clean-Up (ICC) in Zambales are aspiring to surpass last year’s record of 89,060 volunteers in the upcoming ICC 2016 scheduled on September 17.
In a briefing held at The Lighthouse Marina Resort here, ICC-Zambales coordinator Zedrik Avecilla noted that Zambales, along with Olongapo City and Subic Bay Freeport, was recognized last year for mobilizing the highest number of clean-up volunteers and surpassing the record of 47 other participating provinces.
He added that Zambales also came up with the highest number of registered ICC volunteers in the country with 55,150 in 2014.
“Today, because of the growing commitment shown by local volunteers, ICC Zambales is being recognized as role model in the Philippines in environment protection,” Avecilla said.
“So we are hoping that more volunteers would sign up and join us this year,” he added.
Last year, ICC-Zambales records showed that volunteers reported in 190 clean-up sites covering a total of 1,162 kilometers of coastal areas, and collecting in the process more than 46,191 sacks of trash weighing 302 metric tons.
Nationwide, ICC Philippines registered a total of 256,900 clean-up volunteers last year, a 41 percent increase over the volunteer total of 107,695 in 2014. The Philippine participants last year comprised 32 percent of clean-up volunteers worldwide, putting ICC Philippines ahead of 93 other participating countries.
Meanwhile, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Roberto Garcia lauded ICC-Zambales for mobilizing a growing number of residents in protecting the environment, adding that it is “a cause that the SBMA values highly.”
“The growing number of clean-up volunteers is not just a manifestation of support to clean-up activities, but also of the growing awareness among members of the community that environmental protection should be a common effort in order to be successful,” Garcia also said.
The SBMA official also pointed out that Subic Bay Freeport has become a top tourism attraction in the Philippines only because the local community “is caring for the environment.”
The 2016 ICC-Zambales is being organized by the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA) represented by its Director Auxiliary Squadron 111th Capt. Randy Escolango, PCGA, and Deputy Chief of Staff for Marine Environmental Protection for PCGA Squadron 111th LCdr Zedrik Avecilla, PCGA.
The activity is in collaboration with the SBMA and the Lighthouse Marina Resort Legacy Foundation, with support from the local government units of Zambales and Olongapo City, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Department of Tourism.
On September 30, the SBMA will be hosting the ICC Summit 2016 at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center. The public forum will feature speakers with expertise on conservation, climate change, and waste management. (30)