ALL 662 barangays of Negros Occidental, including the 61 barangays of Bacolod City, will hold a simultaneous cleanup of their respective communities on June 26.

This in line with the celebration on the 22nd Provincial Environment Week slated June 22 to 27.

Information Officer Olive Seruelo of the Provincial Environment and Management Office (PEMO) said the barangay cleanup is only one of the many activities of the Provincial Environment Week, which will open on June 22 at the Mambukal Resort in Murcia, in time for the closing of the 18th Mudpack Festival.

Other events are “Ride and Run for a Cause: Save the Environment, Save the Children” on June 22 at 5 a.m. The Ride A Bike Event (male and female categories) covers 22 kilometers from starting point at the Coca-Cola Bottling Plant up to Mambukal Resort, while the Run Event covers 14 kilometers from Lopue’s Department Store in Murcia up to Mambukal Resort.

Registration fees for bike event is P300 and for the run event, P200, that will include singlet, race number, snacks and finisher’s certificate. Registration is at the Bantay Bata office and the PEMO office at the Negros Occidental Barangay Center at the Provincial Capitol.

Participants are encouraged to carry seeds during the race which will be exchanged to a seedling at the finish point for a tree- growing activity in an identified site in Mambukal Resort.

Organizers will provide a baggage area at the Provincial Capitol Lagoon which will then be brought by vehicles and volunteers to Mambukal Resort.

Other activities lined up for the celebration include “Scuba Basurero” on June 24 in Sipalay City; Arbor Day or “tree-growing” on June 25; mural-painting on the walls of the Negros Occidental High School; film showings on Ceres buses and ferry boats; Bago Watershed Stakeholders forum and the Center for Environment Initiatives Forum on Climate Change, on June 26;

Also on June 26, volunteers will monitor and catch crown-of-thorns-starfish, a coral predator (‘salanay’ in dialect) commonly found in the areas of San Carlos and Calatrava, that is known to damage or kill corals.

Film showings on environment aboard Ceres Liner buses and in ferry boats from Bacolod to Iloilo and vice versa will be a weeklong activity; while schools all over the province will hold their respective Environment Education Day.

The awarding of winners for the Seal of Environmental

Governance and culmination program will be on June 27.

Seruelo said the weeklong celebration aims to highlight the need for a cleaner environment. The air and water around us get polluted as a result of man’s irresponsible activities. (With PIA reports)