LA TRINDAD, Benguet – Close to 300 volunteers from the different barangays of La Trinidad, government and law enforcement agencies, schools, civil society organizations, and the private and business sectors participated in the Balili River cleanup on Sept. 15.
Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer Arthur Pedro said the volunteers recovered 103 sacks or more than a ton of wastes from the riverbanks and tributaries of the Balili River.
Balili River traverses Baguio City and La Trinidad and Sablan in Benguet before entering La Union, where it is named the Naguilian River.
Pedro said the third quarter Balili River cleanup drive is in support to the International Coastal Clean-up Day 2023 and the observance of the Balili River Day which falls on Sept. 16.
The Balili River Day aims to promote the conservation of the 23-kilometer Balili River whose water condition is deteriorating due to pollution.
Pedro added the cleanup activity is also the municipality’s way of showing support to the Barkada Program 2023 or the Barangay at Kalikasan Day recently launched by the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
The Barkada Program, based on DILG Memorandum Circular 2023-133, is a nationwide community-based cleanup drive program anchored on the culture of bayanihan that aims to maintain and provide a healthy and safe environment for the people through proper solid waste management.
The Barkada 2023 carries the theme, “Buhayin ang diwa ng bayanihan; Mag-volunteer tayong lahat para sa kalikasan.”
DILG-Cordillera Director Araceli San Jose earlier encouraged local government units in the region to participate in the Barangay at Kalinisan Day and conduct a simultaneous clean up drive within their locality.
She said all LGUs should ensure and support the right of the people to balance ecology and preserve the comfort and convenience of their inhabitants to promote general welfare based on the Local Government Code.
Mayor Romeo Salda thanked the volunteers who continue to support the municipality in its regular cleanup drive.
He also reminded residents to maintain cleanliness and not to use the river as a dumping ground of wastes and help in the protection and preservation of the Balili River, which is intricately woven to the history of the municipality. – Redjie Melvic Cawis