Several volunteer groups of Butuan City collected some 123 sacks of solid waste, equivalent to 674 kilos, embedded along the coasts of Barangays Masao and Lumbocan, Butuan City, in two consecutive coastal clean-up activities held at the area over the weekend, September 9 and 10, 2023.

The activities aligned with the National Clean-up Month Celebration, which carries the theme “Clean Seas for Healthy Fisheries. Sustainably Feed the Global Population.”

The Philippines celebrates National Clean-up Month every September, by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 244 signed by then President Fidel V. Ramos in 1993.

Last Saturday, the “Save Masao River People’s Movement” led by Brigada News FM Butuan 96.7 Station Manager Carlo Guzman Dugaduga along with its advocacy partners comprising of the academe, business sector, Federation of Punong Barangays of Butuan City, church leaders, LGUs, NGOs, National Government Agencies including the DENR, had successfully gathered some 521 volunteers to clean or free the 500-kilometer stretch of the Lumbocan shoreline from solid waste.  The group was able to collect a total of 300 kilograms of non-biodegradable solid wastes during the activity.

PENRO Joseph Leo E. Oconer of Agusan del Norte and CENRO Nelson B. Caranzo of Nasipit, along with Conservation and Development Division Chief Development Management Officer (DMO) V Nilda G. Ebron, DMO V Luis P. Gonzaga, and other DENR employees were present in the event.

The next day, September 10, another 141 volunteers engaged in another clean-up drive in Masao Beach. They had collected 61 sacks of non-biodegradable solid wastes weighing 374 kilos.   Most of the participants were members of the World Mission Society Church of God, representatives of the Bureau of Fire Protection, and the Philippine National Police.  Aside from joining the clean-up, the DENR Caraga employees also facilitated the proper documentation of the activity.

Each clean-up drive had a short program where officials from different agencies/organizations, like the DENR, were asked to speak on their advocacies and experiences in environmental protection and conservation.