Volunteers from Local Government Units, youth organizations, law enforcement, security forces, and provincial BARMM offices joined the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy (MENRE) – BARMM in cleaning coastal areas in Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi in celebration of International Coastal Cleanup Day on 18 September 2021.

In Tawi-Tawi, the Provincial ENRE Office headed by PENRE Officer Jonel Mohammad Monel led the cleanup activity in Brgy. Pahut coastal area in Bongao. It was conducted in partnership with the Provincial Government Office of Tawi-Tawi. Volunteer turnout included participants from the Provincial Science and Technology Center, Bangsamoro Youth Commission, Panglima Sugala Youth Association, and student volunteers from Mindanao State University.

Furthermore, PENRE Officer of Sulu, Pao Dambong, organized the cleanup along Taiwan Beach, Omar Municipality, Sulu. Newly appointed forest rangers joined the removal of pollutants and made their first ‘green’ mark as stewards of the Bangsamoro environment. The MENRE Office in Sulu also conducted planting of mahogany seedlings and mangrove propagules along the coastal area.

The cleanup of Brgy. Taberlongan coastal area in Maluso, Basilan, in addition, spotlights the involvement of representatives from the law enforcement and security sector. PENRE Officer of Basilan Marietta Ladjiman coordinated the coastal cleanup with the 14th Special Forces Company, 4th Special Forces Battalion, Special Forces Regiment Airborne, and Philippine Army. Ladjiman said that civic engagement from the coastal settlers was very much appreciated and deserves recognition.

The Ministry also applauds CENRE Officers of Tawi-Tawi Saido Espiliro and Abdulmukim Maruji, CENRE Officers of Sulu Hasan Eting and Anthony Ancheta, CENRE Officers of Basilan Maria Pilar Tawasil and Ronie Hantian in delivering the needed environmental services to the constituents of the Bangsamoro in the island provinces.

Proclamation No. 470, s. 2003 declared the third Saturday of September as the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) Day. For more than two decades since the institutionalization of the activity in 1994 by the Ocean Conservancy, the Philippines has since ranked first in the international community in terms of volunteer turnout.

Annually, we join the entire nation in conducting coastal cleanup activities for an overall improved condition of our coastal areas. This year, the Ministry and other public and private sector stakeholders bear the “Understand and Beat Marine Pollution” theme in our environmental efforts.