Volunteers gather for World Oceans Day
Volunteers from World Vision, CITI Foundation and Metro Manila Development Authority joined the local government of Baseco, Manila in raising awareness on the importance of the world’s oceans with a clean-up drive held along Manila Bay during the World Oceans Day.
World Oceans Day is celebrated worldwide every June 8 to remind the public of the major role oceans has on human lives. This year’s theme focuses on plastic pollution and gender.
Brgy 649, commonly known as BASECO, produces nearly 40,000 metric tons of garbage almost every year, an annual report from the Public Services of Manila showed.
“Garbage disposal if not properly disposed is detrimental to human and environmental health, Jobe Asuncion, World Vision’s Waste to Wages project coordinator, said. “World Vision merely supports the effort of Baseco to properly dispose and reduce its garbage, especially the single-use plastics.”
Waste to Wages is a waste management project of USAID and World Vision. Part of the project’s awareness activity are trainings for garbage collectors, government officials, partner schools, private sectors and other organizations on proper waste disposal.
Online news agency Rappler reported an alarming number of waste that the Philippines produces. It quoted a GAIA, a non-government organization works for a toxic-free world without incineration, report that showed that the Philippines produces 60 billion sachets a year, 48 million plastic shopping bags a day, and 16.5 billion smaller plastic bags called “labo” bags.
“BASECO has been intensifying its effort on waste management. For one, it has been doing clean-up drives for several months now. World Vision and its partner organization, Kabalikat, for our part, also offer incentives, like grocery items, to families who can bring kilos of certain types of plastics that can still be recycled,” Asuncion added.
During the said activity, World Vision provided BASECO’s garbage collectors with new cleaning materials that they can use when collecting garbage from houses.
“This year, we strive to build greater ocean and gender literacy, and to discover possible ways to promote gender equality in ocean-related activities such as marine scientific research, fisheries, labour at sea, migration by sea and human trafficking, as well as policy-making and managemen,” the UN’s World Oceans Day website stated.
The UN data showed that over “…13,000,000 tonnes of plastic leak into the ocean every year, what among other damage, kill 100,000 marine animals annually. While most plastics are expected to remain intact for decades or centuries after use, those that do erode end up as micro-plastics, consumed by fish and other marine wildlife, quickly making their way into the global food chain.”