The Department of Environment and Natural Resources - MIMAROPA Region, through its El Nido-Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area (ENTMRPA) Management Office, joined hands with partner agencies and community volunteers in collecting a total of 106 sacks of trash left behind by typhoons Quinta and Rolly in the islands of El Nido, Palawan, November 6.

The activity, which was the first leg of the office’s post typhoon cleanup efforts, has cleared the 150-meter coastline of North Guntao Island from the huge amount of wastes, mostly Styrofoam products, plastic bottles, lids and caps, and glass bottles. They were believed to have come from neighboring countries based on the labels of the plastic bottles, and were blown into the island by the strong tides and currents brought by the recent typhoons.

“We started at Guntao Island because it faces the West Philippine Sea, which usually makes it the first area to intercept marine debris,” Protected Area Superintendent Mildred Suza explained. She said the group would go back to the island at the soonest possible time to collect remaining trash.

“Marami pang naiwan kaya babalik pa kami para mahakot lahat ng basura,” Suza noted, adding that more teams would be dispatched to clean up the rest of the islands of El Nido.

Meanwhile, DENR MIMAROPA Regional Executive Director Maria Lourdes Ferrer expressed her gratitude to the volunteers whose participation in the activity strengthened a long-time partnership and commitment to protect El Nido.

“While cleanup activities are more challenging to hold nowadays because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am very grateful that you all managed to support the cleanup while observing strict health protocol,” RED Ferrer expressed.

The Director and the rest of the DENR MIMAROPA would like to extend their sincerest gratitude to the Joint Task-Force Malampaya led by Capt. Donn Anthony Miraflor; Naval Special Operations Unit 10 led by Lt. Noel Aurellano; Explosives Ordinance Disposal/Provincial Explosives Ordinance Disposal and Canine Unit –Northern Palawan led by PLt Lorevie Canja; El Nido Municipal Police Station led by PMaj. Salvador Tabi; 23rd Marine Corps led by 1Lt Dwight Kent Payosalan; Philippine Coast Guard led by Lt. April Bernal and PO2 Bernard Venar Hermano; and volunteers from The Pavillions El Nido Resort headed by its President, Gemmalyn Crosby.

The collected wastes were segregated by the Protected Area Management Office and were turned over to the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office for proper disposal. (With reports and photos from ENTMRPA Management Office) ###