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Twenty-second International Coastal Cleanup: Volunteerism at Work

Philippines — On 15 September, volunteers in Batangas province and Manila Bay gathered in selected coastal areas to participate in the 22nd Annual International Coastal Cleanup.

In Manila Bay, around 3,000 volunteers gathered along the stretch of Roxas Boulevard in the cleanup organized by the Manila Bay Environmental Management Project (MBEMP) and the Coastal Marine Management Office under the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).Volunteers from schools and universities, government offices, the private sector, and civil society groups joined in the cleanup. The heavy rains that morning did not prevent the volunteers from partaking in the noble mission of clearing rubbish from the coastal waters of the Manila Bay. Majority of the volunteers, composed of students and faculty members, collected the accumulated trash along the shore. Other volunteers boarded tugboats and assisted in the efforts facilitated by the Philippine Coastal Guard, Manila Yacht Club, the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Marine Group of the Philippine National Police (PNP). The private sector, including Unilever Philippines, the Land Bank of the Philippines, JP Morgan and OSG Shipping, as well as staff from the United States Embassy also participated in the cleanup. The PEMSEA Resource Facility joined the event, along with Philippine members of its East Asian Youth (EASy) Network.Approximately 2,000 sacks of garbage, composed mostly of driftwood, packaging and fishing nets, were hauled and loaded onto dump trucks.The Manila City Government provided the necessary supplies for the activity, and equipment for the disposal of the collected rubbish.In Batangas province, 30,000 volunteers composed of students, the private sector, and community organizations participated in the cleanups organized by the Provincial Government-Environment and Natural Resources Office of Batangas.The International Coastal Cleanup is held annually every third Saturday of September.