The Municipality of Currimao thru the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO), in cooperation with an Ilocano Youth Non-government organization (NGO), Sirib Ilocano Kabataan Association (SIKA) Inc. conducted an emergency coastal clean-up last May 6, along the coastal area of the municipality.
This is in light of the recent social media posts that went viral, showing a large volume of plastic wastes floating along the Pangil Rock Formation at Currimao, Ilocos Norte.
Complaints reached the local government unit (LGU) of Currimao on May 5, 2018, with regards to an unusual volume of garbage found along the shores of Barangay Pangil. Photos of waste materials at the Pangil Rock Formation were posted on the social media site, Facebook.
Currimao Mayor Gladys G. Cue reassured that upon receipt of the report, the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) acted accordingly.
She reminded the public that measures are done to maintain the cleanliness of the rock formation, implicating that penalties and fines were also imposed to offenders, particularly in illegal disposal of plastic waste.
The said rock formation is considered as an iconic Eco-tourism site in Ilocos Norte, one of the most visited tourist attractions, and one of the first destinations for both local and foreign tourists boarded in the Star Cruise’s luxury ship Superstar Virgo.
Mayor Cue plans to conduct a regular clean-up drive starting this month to monitor the garbage influx and avoid improper disposal.
Mayor Cue also said that the accumulated garbage were not from the town, “talagang hindi galing yung mga basura dito sa Currimao. Alam naman natin ang volume ng basura natin at nakokolekta naman lahat ang mga ito. Kaya naman, imposibleng makaipon ng ganoong kadaming basura.”
According to Currimao MENRO, days before the incident, a 30 to 40 meters wide bulk of plastic wastes was seen by a fisherman in the high seas.
Cue believed that it has been long floating in the sea, saying, “Pinag-uusapan pa namin ng MENRO. May lumot na, kaya naisip naming matagal nang nasa dagat yung mga basura. Dala siguro ng hangin at noong kamakailang pag-ulan.
“Yung iba, kumpol-kumpol. Yung iba nakalagay sa plastic bag na malalaki. Hindi natin alam kung may barkong nagtapon sa mga basurang ito,” she added.
Mayor Cue conducted a meeting with the members of Philippine Coastguard and Philippine National Police – Maritime based in Currimao, SIKA members in Currimao, and the barangay officials of Barangay Pangil, to reinforce task force ‘bantay dagat” and continuous mitigation measures. (PGIN-CMO)