BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
A coastal clean-up drive was jointly conducted by the municipal government of EB Magalona, in partnership with BPI Bayan – Negros Occidental, on November 5 in Brgy. Latasan of the municipality, as the Cinco de Noviembre was being celebrated in the province.
Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer Jojo Vargas disclosed that about 200 participants and organizers participated in the cleanup drive at “Sidlak sa Latasan,” a 600 square meter area in the barangay that BPI BAYAN Negros Occidental adopted for its mangrove-growing project.
BPI BAYAN’s partners are the Barangay Latasan Fisherfolks Association (BALAFA) with 37 members, and the Barangay Latasan Small Fisherfolks Association (BALASFA) with 17 members.
In appreciation of their advocacy, Mayor Marvin Malacon gave two kilos of rice each to members of BALAFA and BALASFA, and a kilo of rice each to the rest who joined the cleanup drive.
BPI BAYAN Negros Occidental was represented by head volunteer and Assistant Branch Manager Ma. Elisa Paz Dioneo-Ebojo.
Vargas said after the cleanup drive, the organizers also conducted an orientation on Ecological Solid Waste Management, handled by Kim Casipe, Science and Research Officer of the Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation, Inc., and a seminar on Financial Resiliency Empowerment Education (FREE) by BPI Relationship Manager Sol Evelet Orciso.
Participants included the members of LGBT-EB Magalona, students of EB Magalona National High School belonging to YES-O, students of Tanza National High School, teachers and officers of the School’s Pupils Government of EB Magalona Elementary School, and members of the Latasan Barangay Council, fisherfolks associations BALAFA and BALASFA, Philippine Coast Guard, and Municipal Fire Station.
The participants were also treated to a “seafood festival” lunch sponsored by BPI BAYAN and the Latasan Barangay Council.*