As thousands of Filipinos start heading to provinces for the long Holy Week break, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) urged people to make the annual observance as environment-friendly as possible.

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu acknowledged that aside from reflection and meditation, Holy Week for most people also means long vacation and a great time to frolic at the beach.

Thus, he said, it is only proper to remind the public against turning the country’s beaches into dumpsites.

“Let us all be reminded of the basics—reduce, reuse and recycle,” said Cimatu, who is in charge of rehabilitation of the pollution-challenged Boracay and other beach destinations in the country.

During the Holy Week, many Filipinos head to provinces and spend the long vacation in beaches or camp in mountains to cool off as temperatures rise in the city. With the huge number of people and activities, solid waste like plastic bags, food waste, wrappers and sachets are likely to accumulate.

Beach resorts, which are favorite destinations, suffer much of the brunt with improper waste disposal and inappropriate sewage facilities.

“In the past weeks, we have seen how many of our prime beaches particularly Boracay, El Nido and Puerto Galer, to name a few, have suffered from degradation,” Cimatu lamented. “The sad thing is that destruction is not confined to these areas alone.”

“When our seas are polluted, marine life is affected, fishermen have less to catch, and the very waters that provide livelihood to many through ecotourism cease to be a source of income,” he added.

Meanwhile, Cimatu said the planned closure of Boracay should serve as a wake-up call for everyone to become good stewards of the environment.

“It does not take much to keep our environment clean. Every effort, when taken together, will result to clean water, clean air, clean land, healthy forests and rich biodiversity. Let’s all do our share,” Cimatu said.

Cimatu also gave the following tips to make the Holy Week break eco-friendly and more meaningful:

  • Switch off and unplug electrical appliances, devices or fixtures when not in use water plants, flush the toilets, or clean floors or cars;

  • Use reusable food-grade containers, not disposable plastic, for food and drinking water to minimize waste;

  • Keep surroundings clean to reduce the use of energy and water that may be needed to clean them up;

  • Switch off and unplug electrical appliances, devices or fixtures when not in use;

  • Keep vehicles well-maintained to lessen pollution; and

  • Patronize fuel-efficient vehicles that can transport more passengers at a time. This not only saves on gas but reduces emissions that worsen the heat and contribute to air pollution. ###


DENR press releases and other news/feature articles are posted at the DENR website: www.denr.gov.ph. For queries/comments, write: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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