Iloilo City eyes more cleanup activities

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Following its “One Time Big Time” coastal cleanup last March 30, the Iloilo City government is planning more activities to restore the area’s coastal waters.

Mayor Jose Espinosa III said they draw inspiration from the national government’s initiatives in Boracay Island in Aklan and Manila Bay.

Espinosa said the aim is to make the coastal water fit for swimming again.

He pointed out last weekend’s activity “is a single step” and the “start or beginning of our quest to restore our coastal waters to be swimmable again.”

Last weekend, the city’s government and the City Environmental and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) initiated the cleanup of 26 coastal barangays from Bitoon, Jaro to Santo Niño Sur, Arevalo.

Volunteers from non-government organizations, national agencies, public and private schools, City Hall employees, residents, and barangays officials took part in the activity.

Iloilo City’s coastline stretches nearly 20 km, and includes 26 of the biggest and most dense barangays in the metro, according to Jose Renan Escoto of CENRO.

Following last weekend’s the cleanup, Escoto said they will leave to barangay officials and residents the sustainability of the coastal areas there.

He said they will assess the performance of each barangay with help from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

CENRO head Noel Hechanova said they are preparing a set of Information, Education and Campaign (IEC) materials to follow the coastal cleanup.

CENRO’s succeeding programs will be administered and implemented by a Coastal Resource and Management Council, which will soon be formed, Hechanova said.