MANILA — U.S. and Philippine service members joined efforts to clean coastal and residential communities in Zamboanga City during the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) Day on Sept. 21.
More than 500 volunteers, including students, local residents, local government employees, non-governmental organizations, and Philippine and U.S. service members participated in the community clean-up activities on Boulevard Beach and Zamboanga City streets in support of ICC Day.
“We do this [coastal cleanup] to maintain a good relationship with the citizens of Zamboanga City, and to show the people that the Philippine Army not only fights to protect the people on the battlefield but also fights to improve our environment. Working with the U.S. Army is a big pleasure for us because they are kind and hardworking,” said Cpl. RollyBeninsig, 74th Infantry Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, Philippine Army.
“It was remarkable to see hundreds of people from various organizations working side-by-side to clean the community. The volunteers, to include our friends from Joint Task Force Zamboanga of the Philippine Army, showed their tireless effort and commitment to a cleaner and safer environment. Not only are we advocating alongside the people of the Philippines, but we’re also amplifying our environmental conservation efforts on an international scale,” said Staff Sgt. Allen Joshua, U.S. Army.
“All uniformed personnel and security sectors, to include Joint Task Force Zamboanga, are protecting our ocean. This yearly activity educates the people on how to keep the lakes, oceans, and tunnels clean. In addition, our information drives to inform the people on the proper disposal of garbage. The Philippine and United States relationship is strong and we all support this activity,” said TSg. Noel Poblacion, Chief Civil Military Operations, Joint Task Force Zamboanga, Philippine Army.
The United States, as a longstanding friend, partner, and ally of the Philippines, continues to provide support to Filipino communities with community outreach events on environmental conservation.