By Mielmia Marie T. Baquiran
The Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PNREO) recently spearheaded an activity among the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) in response to PGC’s efforts in abating environmental damages brought about by climate change. Dubbed as “Clean-up Challenge at the Regional Center cum Information, Education and Communication Campaign on Solid Waste Management,” the activity aims to strengthen the Eco-waste Management practices among the Cagayano youth.
Some 300 students participated in the clean-up drive together with PNREO employees lead by PNREO Officer, Robert Adap. The SPES participants are part of the summer employment program of PGC in partnership with DOLE. They are all assigned in the PGC Nursery Site in San Gabriel, Tuguegarao City to help in the seedling production of PNREO.
As early as five o’clock in the morning, the participants went to the Regional Center in Carig to collect garbage along roads in the different offices. They brought sacks and wheelbarrows to collect garbage. After collecting, they brought these wastes infront of the Capitol grounds for segregation and disposal.
According to Adap, the waste collected at the Regional Center and Capitol was estimated to weigh 7-10 metric tons. The sacks of garbage collected are mixed garbage. It includes paper bottles, plastic, biodegradable materials and other wastes.
Adap urged the management of the different offices in the Regional Center to practice proper waste management. “We should practice proper waste management as provided by RA 9003 or the Eco-waste Management Act of 2011. The activity we did today made us realize how poor our practices in managing our waste. Thus, we need to strengthen our efforts in proper segregation, especially in proper waste collection,” he added.
After the clean-up drive in Carig, the students proceeded to the Teodulfo Hall at the University of St. Louis where they viewed films on climate change. A lecture on climate change was also given by PNREO. The students also prepared presentations per group as part of the day’s activity. A quiz bee was also conducted among them. Special prizes amounting to P12, 000 were given by Governor Alvaro T. Antonio to the winners of the clean-up challenge, special numbers and quiz bee.
According to Adap, the activity is among the programs of PGC and PNREO on climate change. Among the PGC’s response to the issue include the establishment of small-water impounding projects (SWIPs), reforestation projects which includes rehabilitation of watersheds and tree-planting activities, seedling production and distribution, coastal clean-up drive, IEC campaigns, and implementation of RA 9003.