Ilocos Norte joins 4th National Clean Up Day

By Ma. Joreina Therese A. Blanco

LAOAG CITY, Oct. 2 (PIA) — With the common goal to save the earth one cleanup drive at a time, various youth organizations in Ilocos Norte joined the nation in the 4th National Clean Up Day on September 29.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources and movement created by environment warriors called “Let’s do it! Philippines”, youth organizations such as Vice Governor Angelo Marcos Barba’s AMBag sa Kalikasan, Movement Against Plastic Pollution (MAPP), Liga Dagiti Agtutubo a Managayat iti Barangay (LAMB), and Sangguniang Kabataan officials conducted the cleanup drive in 10 towns.

In Currimao town, a total of 66 volunteers managed to collect 23 sacks of non-biodegradable trashes, weighing 587 kilograms from the Currimao seawall.

The fourth installment of the cleanup activity aimed to mobilize and enjoined five million Filipinos across the country to protect and care for the environment in one day.

Originally, the cleanup was set last September 15 but due to Typhoon Ompong, the province joined a week late.

“Other provinces like La Union and Pangasinan also rescheduled their cleanups because of the typhoon,” said Patrizia Dacanay, founder of MAPP and one of the active eco-warriors in Ilocos Norte.

“If we continue being ignorant of what’s happening to our environment, it will become very polluted and unsafe for us to live in. We, in MAPP, believe that a healthy environment is essential for healthy living. And also, from a healthy environment, the betterment of every industry will follow— tourism industry because of eco-tourism, agriculture, forestry, and fishery industries are just some,” Dacanay added.

More than the cleanup movement, the youth organizations also commended the growing number of volunteers for environment efforts.

“Kaunti lang kami noon pero ngayon, dumadami na ang tumutulong sa amin na magsagawa ng ganitong mga aktibidad,” said Richard Agustin, member and active mover of the AMBag sa Kalikasan project of Ilocos Norte’s vice governor.

Aside from cleanups, AMBag sa Kalikasan, MAPP, and LAMB worked hand-in-hand in distributing ecobags to market-goers and locals as an effort to ditch use of plastic bags.

Other series of distribution will also be conducted within the rest of the year.

At present, MAPP also sells bamboo straws in support to the local farmers and as added fund of the organization for future projects.

“We encourage everyone to get involved in the movement and start being conscious on how we use and dispose single-use plastics. We highly recommend the practices of a zero-waste lifestyle. Plastic pollution is not just an environmental crisis, but also a human welfare crisis. We hope we can all work together, local government and private sectors, in protecting Ilocos Norte,” Dacanay challenged.

The National Clean Up Day is annually organized every 3rd Saturday of September. (Ma. Joreina Therese A. Blanco/PIA-1, Ilocos Norte)