SOME 240 volunteers collected two metric tons of garbage at the mouth of Luknay river and adjacent coastal areas in San Fernando town in a cleanup Taiheiyo Cement Philippines, Inc. (TCPI) recently organized.

The volunteers included TCPI employees and those of its materials supplier, Solid Earth Development Corp. (SEDC), as well as their 72 scholars from middle school to college.

Representatives of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) 7 and employees of San Fernando town hall and Barangay South Poblacion also joined in cleaning the waterway.

TCPI organized the clean-up under the Save Our Seas– Coastal CleanUp banner of its Environmental Protection and Enhancement Program, according to Engr. Romeo M. Gebilaguin, division manager for environment and safety.

“Trash has infiltrated all reaches of our ocean, causing innumerable impacts to people, water quality, marine wildlife, even contributing to climate change,” he said in his welcome message at the start of the activity.

“We need individual action by being responsible for the rubbish we generate, and dispose of these properly,” he told the participants gathered at the TCPI multi-purpose recreation center as early as 6:45 a.m.

TCPI senior vice president and plant manager Kazuhiko Ichizawa underscored the need to “put our heart and enthusiasm during the clean-up in such way that we will never be getting tired in caring our environment.”

He showed the participants how to pick up plastic with the use of a bamboo stick, as he also thanked them.

Support

Engr. Arthur Niño Calupig, EMB 7 environmental management specialist, lauded TCPI and SEDC for their relentless support to EMB’s SOS adopt-an-estero program.

He said EMB pursued it to help restore coastal areas, rivers and creeks as they used to be, naturally. “As we all pollute, we should be responsible for the pollution we generate,” he pointed out.

Some 150 households are found along the 593-meter lowland portion of the Luknay creek, a major tributary of runoff waters from the uplands of barangays Tonggo and Tinubdan.

The same creek passes through the southern side of the TCPI cement manufacturing facilities.

Rainwaters from its quarry sites behind the plant in Tonggo also run through Luknay. (PR)