150 sacks of garbage collected

The Ancillary Services Unit reveals this number is far lesser compared to an average of 2,600 sacks of garbage Bantay Dagat volunteers collect every month
Action taken. A staff of the Ancillary Services Unit of Davao City pulls out plastic materials thrown along the creek in Barangay Vicente Hizon to keep the water flowing smoothly and prevent flooding.
Action taken. A staff of the Ancillary Services Unit of Davao City pulls out plastic materials thrown along the creek in Barangay Vicente Hizon to keep the water flowing smoothly and prevent flooding. ARJOY CENIZA/SUNSTAR PHOTO

AN OFFICIAL from the Ancillary Services Unit (ASU) of Davao City said that they collected around 150 sacks of garbage during their cleanup activity on Saturday, April 27, 2024, along the Agro-Industrial Foundation College of the Philippines (Agro) approaching Felcris Centrale.

Paul Bermejo, ASU Head, said that the Bantay Dagat volunteers cleaned the area where residents have made it an open dumping site and collected about 148 sacks of mixed garbage and eight sacks of bottles. 

“So karun atoang paadtuan to, atoang ipa-monitor kay kung labayan gihapon nila katong mga balay sa tabok sa pikas nga side amoa na silang ipang house-to-house sa Cenro (City Environment and Natural Resources Office) nga issuehan sila og citation ticket ug himuan og report unya ipasa sa barangay (We will send people there to monitor the area, and if the residents across the road will still throw garbage there then we will conduct a house-to-house [information dissemination] together with Cenro, and advise the office to issue citations to them and create a report then submit it to the barangay), Bermejo said during the ISpeak media forum on Thursday morning, May 2, 2024, at the City Mayor's Office. 

Meanwhile, Bermejo expressed that the number of sacks of garbage they gathered has lessened since the onset of the El Niño phenomenon. On average, the office gathers around 2,600 sacks every month during their monthly Saturday cleanups, where around 300 Bantay Dagat volunteers participate.

He also revealed that because of the video uploaded online by a netizen of a Badjao couple dumping garbage along the coastal road, Davao City Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte called the attention of his unit and CENRO to form a team that will respond to the situation. In the third week of April, the office conducted a dialogue with the Badjao community, and the local community pledged not to do it again.

The Public Safety and Security Office (PSSO) also warned the community not to use the coastal waters as their restrooms. The office discourages the community from urinating and defecating in the seas as they plan to install Closed-Circuit Televisions (CCTVs) at the shorelines. 

Bermejo added that Cenro said it would issue a citation ticket if the residents would throw garbage in the seas, and if they committed the same act multiple times, a case would be filed against them.   

To recall, a local executive order series of 2017 signed by former mayor, now Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte, declares that every first and third Saturday of every month is sea coast and river bank cleanup time in all pertinent barangays in Davao City.

Through the ordinance, it created a program called Bantay Dagat, whose main objective is to clean the city's coastlines and riverbanks according to the same schedule since the passing of the executive order. 

The office also celebrates May as the Month of the Ocean through Presidential Proclamation 57 series of 1999, signed by Former President Joseph Estrada. This celebration promotes the sustainable management of the Philippines' ocean resources and aims to promote awareness of the conservation and protection of these resources. It also recognizes the economic and ecological benefits of coastal notion provided to the nation. RGP

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