BAUANG, La Union- Various stakeholders from the government and private sectors and the academe in the province of La Union converged in the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the project, β€œPlastic Recovery and Recycling for Clean Coasts” at Hotel Ariana, Paringao, Bauang, La Union on July 15, 2021.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Region- I (DENR- I) led by PENRO La Union and the Environmental Management Bureau, Region- I (EMB- I) joined other stakeholders in this significant project which aims to reduce plastic pollution through the collective participation of communities in the sustainable management of plastic waste. Parties involved in this initiative are committed to protect coastal environment of the municipalities of Bauang, San Juan and the City of San Fernando, La Union.

Present at the venue include EMB- I Regional Director Engr. Maria Dorica Naz- Hipe, PENR Officer of la Union Engr. Raymundo C. Gayo, Department of Science and Technology, Region- I (DOST- I) RD Armando Q. Ganal, San Fernando City Mayor Herminigildo A. Gualberto, Bauang Mayor Menchie L. de Guzman, Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation, Inc. (JVOFI) President Reinaldo A. Bautista Jr., San Juan Resort, Restaurant and Hotel Association, Inc. (SJRRHASS) President Maria Cristina H. Antonio and Dragon Eight Junkshop owner Mayoleen L. Belen.

Also present via Zoom include Governor Francisco Emmanuel β€œPacoy” R. Ortega III, San Juan Mayor Arturo P. Valdriz, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, RFO- I (BFAR RFO- I) OIC, RD Segundina P. Gaerlan, Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU) President Dr. Jaime I. Manuel Jr., Saint Louis College (SLC) President Rev. Fr. Ramon R. Caluza, Lupon ng mga Indibidwal na Nangangalaga ng Kalikasan, Inc. (LINK) President Camille M. Agotana, La Union Hotel Resorts and Restaurant Association Inc. (LUHRRA) President Crestine P. Lucman, Bauang Resorts, Restaurant and Hotel Association, Inc. (BRRHA) President Peter Paul R. Nang, Sto. Nino Junkshop owner Cesar M. Del Rosario and the barangay captains of San Juan, Bauang and San Fernando City, La Union. A representative of the Coca- Cola Foundation Cecile Alcantara also delivered a short message and JVOFI has received a grant amounting to $ 148, 247.85 from the Coca- Cola Foundation intended for the said project to be implemented from November 2020 to November 2022 in the said municipalities and city.

It has been recalled that the DENR initiated in 2019 the rehabilitation and massive clean- up of Manila Bay dubbed as β€œBattle for Manila Bay,” which aims to enjoin the public to take action to address the growing problem of plastic wastes. The stakeholders in this project with the support of DENR- I, were inspired to initiate this initiative due to the initial success of the Manila Bay enormous clean- up.

Gov. Ortega assured the public that PGLU will uphold its commitment and roles to attain the desired results of the project and to increase public awareness of the impacts of plastic pollution on La Union’s marine resources. The project objectives and initial activities conducted were presented by the Technical Working Group (TWG) to 17 parties in the MOA signing. Short messages were also conveyed by Mayor De Guzman, RD Naz- Hipe and RD Ganal before a community symposium ensued. (GCG-RPAO)