Locals of Olongapo City, Zambales and San Fernando City, La Union held the very first mangrove planting and beach clean-up drive in the country’s campaign season this year in support of Senatorial candidate former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.
The activities were organized in solidarity with Cayetano’s eco-friendly campaign for his Senate comeback bid in the May 2022 general elections.
Zambales mangrove planting and beach clean-up
Various groups participated in the “1-4 Alan Mangrove Planting” in the morning led by Barangay Chairperson Rodolfo S. Catologan in Barangay Pag-Asa, where supporters initiated the planting of mangroves.
“[Ang mga mangrove] ay nagbibigay kalinisan po sa ating mga environment dito po sa amin (Mangroves keep our environment clean),” Catologan said.
“Napakalaking bagay po sa aming barangay [itong eco-friendly campaign]…Ito ay pakikinabangan ng ating mga kababayan, malaking tulong po ito (The eco-friendly campaign is a big help to our community),” he added.
In the afternoon, another group joined the “1-4 Alan Beach Clean-up” in Driftwood Beach, Barangay Barreto, Olongapo City organized by ABC President Randy C. Sionzon, Office of the City Agriculture and Ecotourism representative Aileen Reyes, at ng Bangkero and Fisheries Group.
“Ang lahat po ng basurang ‘yan ay karamihan po mga plastik, mga bote, mga styropacks…sagabal po lalo na sa mga tubig sa dagat, mga mangingisda nahuhuli po mga plastic bottles imbes na isda,” Reyes said.
(We’ve collected a substantial amount of plastics, bottles, and styrofoams…these are harmful to the environment as well as to our local fishermen.)
“Ngayon po wala na tayong nakikitang plastic bottles…Nakakatulong po ito sa kalikasan, at sa mga mamamayan [dito]…Sa atin pong mga kapwa Pilipino hinihikayat po namin kayo na tularan at suportahan po natin buong puso at pagmamahal ang eco-friendly [campaign] ng ating Senator Peter Cayetano,” she added.
(Now there are barely any bottles left here…These activities help the environment and our community…I encourage fellow Filipinos to follow suit Senator Peter Cayetano’s eco-friendly campaign.)
La Union beach clean-up
Community leaders and volunteers participated in the “1-4 Alan Beach Clean-up” in the morning led by Lupon ng mga Indibidwal na Nangangalaga sa Kalikasan (LINK) in Barangay Lingsat, San Fernando City, La Union, where supporters picked up trash – mostly single-use plastic packaging, bottles and damaged fishing nets – along the seashore.
Lingsat village council Chairperson Jesusa Iglesia thanked former Speaker Cayetano and the local groups that made the beach clean-up in her community possible.
“Thank you sa LINK at sa city [government of San Fernando] para po sa ating paglilinis ngayon, ang 1-4 Alan Beach Clean-up,” Iglesia said.
(Thank you to LINK and to the city government of San Fernando for our cleaning drive today, the 1-4 Alan Beach Clean-up.)
Volunteer Michael Esperan encouraged others to help in beach clean-up drives in their respective communities as these actions help the environment.
“Tayo pong pumunta sa mga tabing-dagat po para maglinis po tayo ng mga plastic sa kapaligiran po natin para hindi po masira ang mga coral po dito sa dagat,” Esperan said.
“Halina po kayo’t maglinis po tayong lahat para po sa kapakanan po natin, para lagi pong malinis ang tabing-dagat,” he added.
(Let’s go to the seaside and pick up the trash so we can protect the corals. Let’s go out and participate in clean-up drives for our own good, so that we can keep our shores clean.)
Last February 28 and March 14, 2022, cyclists in different cities and provinces across the country also responded to his call for an eco-friendly campaign by holding bike caravans.
Cayetano began calling on his supporters in February to plant trees and mangroves, establish urban farms, and use social media as alternatives to printed materials and motorcades.
The call was praised by various environmental groups, such as the EcoWaste Coalition, which said the move reflects Cayetano’s deep concern for the environment and his important mission to make his campaign cleaner, safer, and better until Election Day.
The former Speaker filed his Certificate of Candidacy for Senator on October 7, 2021.
Cayetano, who is currently one of the top candidates in various senatorial surveys, said he will push for a “faith-based” and “values-oriented” leadership in the Senate.