All sectors urged to cleanup Cebu rivers, other water bodies
CEBU CITY, Philippines—The founder of tourism association and advocate for environment protection urged members of the Rotary Club of Metro Cebu to initiate a movement for the cleanup of Cebu’s water bodies.
Robert Lim Joseph Jr., honorary consul of Latvia and founder of the Network of Independent Tour Agencies, stressed the need to take care of Cebu, “a microcosm of tourism in the Philippines.”
Joseph cited his experiences when he helped Cebuano environmentalist Antonio Oposa who has been calling for the cleanup of the Manila Bay by seeking the help of media to draw attention to the issue.
“We have to address the source (of pollution). What we want to do is to prevent further damage by putting sewage treatment plants to process the outfall from homes and commercial establishments, and convert these to clean water. Therefore, that would be lasting protection,” he said.
He also cited the need for the cleanup of creeks because these will eventually end up in the river systems and in Mactan Channel.
Another strategy would be to transfer the informal settlers to another area and provide them with their own sanitary toilet, shower, water and sewage treatment facilities, Joseph said.
He maintained that the costs of the rehabilitation would be shouldered by government agencies like Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) that could provide funding for the cleanup and maintenance of Cebu rivers and other water bodies.
Joseph also stressed that local government units, including the barangay, have the responsibility to maintain and protect the environment.
On the other hand, Bobby Pacaña, president of the Rotary Club of Metro Cebu and the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Association Inc. of Cebu (Creba), said that the club would be willing to initiate the movement to cleanup rivers and other water bodies not only in Metro Cebu area but also in other areas in Cebu province.
“We are just the catalyst and we are very open (to other civic clubs) to join in this campaign,” Pacaña added.
The Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CCENRO) is organizing a cleanup of the city’s rivers starting February 23.
Mandaue City has already started the rehabilitation of the Butuanon River. /dcb
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