By Jagel Mae S. Escandor
GUBAT, Sorsogon --- Various stakeholders celebrate Earth Day on Saturday morning last April 22 through simultaneous clean-up along the coastal villages of this town as part of the launching of the local government’s solid waste management campaign dubbed as “Hamus, Marie Linig!” (Come, let’s clean).
Members of civil society groups, people’s organizations, local government and village officials and employees, the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Regional Public Safety Batallion, and primary and secondary schools participated.
The cleanup campaign is part of LGU-Gubat’s initiatives to implement existing laws and ordinances on solid waste management and environmental protection.
“Hamus, Marie Linig!” is embodied by a mascot called Marie Linig which is derived from the local term “marilinig” or to clean. Marie Linig is a broomstick made of coconut midribs. She will represent LGU’s year-long information and education campaign on solid waste management.
Gubat Mayor Sharon G. Escoto said that the campaign’s primary aim is to educate the households and pool in efforts from different sectors in the town about proper waste segregation.
She said that the town collects at least 13,000 kilos of garbage in a day. Almost 80 % of these are recyclable and biodegradable trash.
“If the people of Gubat can change their ways, learn to recycle and make backyard compost instead of throwing all their garbage away, the LGU will only need to collect residual wastes”, Escoto added.
The campaign was officially launched at 8:00 o’clock in the morning along the main street of Gubat town center.
Afterwards, mascot Marie Linig appeared before the public through a flash dance mob. Students from Bicol University-Gubat campus, primary and secondary schools, and LGU employees joined the Marie Linig dance.
Marie Linig also went around the town through a motorcade where she stopped by the village halls for a brief talk and encouragement among households to practice proper waste segregation.
A relay race called Amazing Waste followed through. Said race is patterned from the cable television game, Amazing Race where teams compete and go through challenges related to solid waste management. The challenges can be found in pit stops across the town.
MENRO Lea E. Santos said that the launching program is only first of the series of activities that the LGU will conduct to ensure the implementation of solid waste management and infuse behavioral change among the townspeople.
“We only have one earth that gives us life. We must give back by protecting it together,” she shared.
Earth day is being celebrated every year worldwide. It started in the United States in 1970. Since then, various events are held to show support for environmental protection.