Press Release
September 19, 2015

Villar hails gathering of heroes at LPPCHEA multi-sectoral clean up activity

In celebration of the 30th International Coastal Clean Up (ICC) Day, Sen. Cynthia Villar and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) held a multi-sectoral clean up activity at the country's only urban wildlife sanctuary.

Villar commended the DENR for gathering thousands of volunteers and for holding the activity at the Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA), a 175-hectare critical habitat as declared by Presidential Proclamation Nos. 1412 and 1412-A.

"Activities such as these are needed to promote the stature of LPPCHEA as one of the world's most important wetlands, which should be protected and preserved at all costs," Villar said.

Addressing the crowd before heading to the beach for the clean-up activity, Villar branded as heroes the volunteers who chose to spend the day collecting coastline trash at LPPCHEA.

"By collecting trash, we are preventing plastics and other pollutants from threatening marine life. The volunteers should be commended for this heroic act of saving lives," she said.

Villar cited the study released by the journal Science quantifying the amount of plastic going into the ocean from land which is estimated to be between five and 14 million tons in a year.

Since the Washington-based Ocean Conservancy started the International Coastal Clean up 30 years ago, it has collected over 190 million pounds of trash.

In 2003, Presidential Proclamation No. 470 was issued declaring the third Saturday of September of every year as ICC Day in the Philippines. Last year, the local celebration of ICC succeeded in the removal of 208,438 kilos of trash along 335 kilometers of shorelines and waterways. Villar, who has made it her personal crusade to protect the Ramsar-listed LPPCHEA as a wetland of international importance, welcomed the expanding number of volunteers coming to LPPCHEA as she recalled the days when only students and residents of Paranaque and Las Pinas are holding regular clean-up activities there.

"Preserving LPPCHEA should not only rest on the residents of communities surrounding this area. LPPCHEA is an environmental gem that should be cared for by every Filipino for the sake of the future generation," she said.

Joining the local ICC celebration were Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance), US Embassy, Alliance for Stewardship and Authentic Progress, American Chamber of Commerce, ASPAC International, Boy Scout of the Philippines-Metro Manila South Council, Cavitex-Care, DHL, Haribon, Juan Sumulong High School, Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment, Maynilad, Novaliches High School, Philippine Airlines, PAL Express, Pan Pacific Manila, Pasig Catholic College, PCU, Petron NAIA JOCASP, Philippine Red Cross- Las Pinas Chapter, Save Freedom Island Movement, Singapore School of Manila, St. Benedictine School of Cavite, United Methodist Church, and Vista Land.

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