Bantay Kalikasan

Kalikasan Summit kicks off in Bocaue

Eva Mae Nares
May 21, 2019

She went inside the boat first, prepared her cleaning tools, and started picking the floating trash. At first, she got plastic bottles, styrofoam pieces and then a lot of single-use plastic bags.

Fifty-one-year old Nanay Evelyn Agupitan, a mother of 11, tirelessly picked every trash she encountered as the boat roamed along the river. It seems like it was just an easy task for her. She did it effortlessly.

She is a street sweeper of Bocaue, Bulacan for three years now. Upon hearing that ABS-CBN Foundation’s Bantay Kalikasan and Local Government of Bocaue will hold the river and community clean up, without a second thought, she decided to join the activity. She is one of more than 2,000 individuals who took part in the simultaneous clean-up during the Bocaue Kalikasan Summit.

“Importante po kasi sa akin iyong kalinisan. Minsan kahit malinis na, tapon pa rin sila nang tapon. Sana po tulong-tulong po lahat sa paglinis”, she exclaimed.  Nanay Evelyn explained that they are directly affected by flood especially during rainy season. That is why proper disposal of wastes is necessary for her.

Over 76,000 kilograms of wastes were recovered during the clean-up in cooperation with Bocaue Tourism Council, DENR-PENRO Bulacan, MENRO, Sangguniang Kabataan Federation of Bocaue, and League of Barangays.  A total of 19,000 kilograms of which were recyclables.

After a simultaneous clean up, participants gathered for a Kalikasan Summit.  Individuals from various sectors shared their best practices in protecting the environment, one of them was ABS-CBN Foundation Chairman, Gina Lopez.  

“It’s the era of climate change. We have to take collective action to protect the resources that we have. We need to work together”, said Bantay Kalikasan Founder, Gina Lopez.

Lopez vows to help the local government of Bocaue by realizing its eco-tourism potentials.

Bantay Kalikasan would like to applaud speakers and volunteers who shared their time and best practices during the summit: Bocaue Mayor Joni Villanueva, Engr. Dinia Gomez-Head of Municipal Environment and Natural Resources of Bocaue; Emelita Lingat-Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer of Bocaue; Joemedes Arienda-Agriculture Analyst of Asian Social Institute; Joy Abutan and Sasha Garcia-Founders of Resikleta; Susit Rabo-Nursery Management Officer of La Mesa Watershed; and Dr. Jilian R. Tuazon-Medical Adviser of Betadine.

Bocaue Kalikasan Summit was held in celebration of the Earth Month.