AROUND 80 personnel from several agencies and volunteers have converged for the clean-up drive in the province of Guimaras on July 15, 2020 in observance of the National Disaster Resilience Month.
The Office of Civil Defense-Western Visayas led the clean-up drive at the shorelines of Barangay Hoskyn in the Municipality of Jordan and Barangays Sawang, Navalas, Tacay and San Miguel in Buenavista town.
Volunteers from Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Navy, Philippine Army, Philippine Air Force, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Red Cross, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management office and the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management offices of Jordan, San Lorenzo and Nueva Valencia, as well as sectoral groups rallied for the common goal of collecting trash littering the coastlines of Guimaras.
The activity coincides with Guimaras facing the challenge caused by the oil spill that affected 32 barangays in the province.
OCD-Western Visayas Director Jose Roberto Nuñez said Guimaras is vulnerable to disasters because it is surrounded by waters.
He said it is necessary to ensure that the tragedies of the past do not happen again.
"We have to protect and see to it that iyong mga nangyari before ay hindi na mauulit. Unang-una, ang mga kababayan natin, especially dito sa Guimaras na most of this island is covered dito sa shoreline natin especially going to Iloilo. So kapag may mga incidents, mahihirapan talaga lalo na kung mayroon tayong mga evacuations na emergencies," Nuñez said.
It was in July 2006 when Guimaras was devastated by a massive oil spill after the sunken MT Solar 1 spilled 2.1 million liters of bunker fuel in the island.
Governor Samuel Gumarin said the coast clean-up is a mechanism to protect the environment not just for today but for the generations to come.
He said Guimaras is usually hit by calamities during the month of July and August, adding that Guimarasnons should safeguard their habitat that has nurtured them and become their source of their livelihood. (PR)