By: Gerome Dalipe
Citing the presence of several buildings and even families living in the coastal areas, local legislators in Iloilo are taking steps to save the bodies of water in the Province.
The Iloilo Provincial Board has passed an ordinance requiring all municipalities in coastal areas to conduct cleanup drive for at least once a month.
“Excessive garbage has polluted our seas resulting in contamination and water pollution,” read the ordinance authored by Board Member Marcelo Valentine Serag.
Presidential Proclamation 470 series of 2003 issued by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo declared the third Saturday of September every year as the International Coastal Clean-up Day in observance of the Global Coastal Clean-up celebrations.
Likewise, Sec. 468 of Republic Act 7160 (Local Government Code of 1991) grants the Provincial Board the power to approve ordinances to protect the environment and impose appropriate penalties.
The prohibited acts that may endanger the environment include dynamite fishing and other forms of destructive fishing, illegal logging and smuggling of logs, smuggling of natural resources products and endangered species.
In drafting the ordinance, Board Member Serag cited several establishments operating in the areas and families living along the coastal areas.
Thus, Serag said there is a need to save the bodies of water and coastal areas by conducting monthly clean-up activities.
There is also a need for capacity building workshops for establishments operating and residents living along the coastal areas.
“Coastal environments are part of a healthy and functioning ecosystem of the Province of Iloilo,” read the ordinance.
“Excessive garbage has polluted our seas resulting in contamination and water pollution.”