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Bicol joins launch of ‘Kalinisan sa Bagong Pilipinas’

By Ana-Liza Macatangay

LEGAZPI CITY --- President Marcos Jr. has launched the “Bagong Pilipinas” brand of governance, which aims to create a cohesive, resilient, and sustainable nation. He invited all Filipinos to participate in this transformative journey towards advancement and development.

In celebration of Community Development Day, the president initiated the nationwide rollout of the Kalinisan sa Bagong Pilipinas Program on Saturday, January 6. He encouraged all agencies, partner organizations, and community members to actively participate in the cleanliness campaign in their respective barangays.

Kalinisan, which stands for Kalinga at Inisyatiba para sa Malinis na Bayan, aims to bring together all sectors and raise awareness of the importance of a clean, healthy, and safe environment. This initiative aligns with Department of the Interior and Local Government Memorandum Circular 001-2024, which promotes proper waste management practices and enhances public awareness and engagement in environmental responsibilities.

Over the weekend, DILG Bicol Regional Director Arnaldo Escober Jr. led the launch of Kalinisan sa Bagong Pilipinas in Barangay Dapdap, Legazpi City. The event was attended by officials from various government agencies, including Brig. Gen. Andre Dizon (Philippine National Police Bicol regional director), Fire Chief Supt. Ricardo Perdigon (Bureau of Fire Protection), JCSUPT Joel S Superficial (Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, lawyer Ronnel Sopsop (Department of Environment and Natural Resources), and Assistant Regional Director for Special Concerns Adona P. San Diego.

CLEAN-up drive at the Waras River, Brgy. Sta. Elena, Baras, Nabua, Camarines Sur II January 6, 2024. Photo JRMadrid-PIA5/CamSur

The event was participated by 3,471 barangays across the region, and identified showcased barangays for the national clean-up drive rollout were DapDap in Legazpi, Albay; Bagasbas in Daet, Camarines Norte; Santa Elena in Nabua, Camarines Sur; Palnab Sur in Virac, Catanduanes; Nursery in Masbate City; and Talisay in Sorsogon City, Sorsogon.

Also in attendance were Legazpi City Administrator Carlos Ante, representing Mayor Carmen Geraldine Rosal, and Punong Barangay Glenn Barcelon.

In Camarines Sur, DILG Provincial Director Julius Cal-Ortiz emphasized that the nationwide initiative, encompassing the cleanup of coastal areas, esteros, and streets, sought to collect all generated solid waste materials.

“This is a national undertaking and today we’re holding the national launching of this program together with the different national government agencies, civil society organizations, and others. One of the directions given to us is to gather all the solid waste materials that we’ll be generating and kikiluhin po natin ito para malaman natin kung ilan ang nakuha nating basura for this activity,” Ortiz added.

Ortiz stated that the effort to sustain the Bayanihan spirit will continue and ensure its lasting impact on the Bicolanos. It also aims to highlight the importance of a clean environment in promoting a healthy mind.

Alvin O. Bermejo, the newly elected punong barangay of Sta. Elena in Baras, expressed his excitement that his place was chosen to be the showcase barangay for the initiative.

“Isa po ito sa mga plano ko dito sa barangay, ang beautification kasama na ang regular general cleaning kaya tuwang tuwa kami na dito sa Nabua, Camarines Sur, ang aming barangay ang napiling showcase barangay. Lahat po ng sona sa aming barangay ay kasama nating maglilinis, pati na ang ibang organisasyon (Beautification and regular general cleaning are part of my priorities here in my barangay. We are delighted that here in Nabua, Camarines Sur, our barangay has been chosen as the showcase barangay. All residents in our barangay will participate in the cleaning, along with other organizations),” Bermejo added.

During the clean-up drive in Barangay Sta. Elena, Baras, around 25 sacks, each weighing 20 kilograms of bio and bio-waste were collected, resulting in a total of around 500 kg of waste.

In Sorsogon province, DILG Provincial Director Arnel Renato Madrideo expressed appreciation to residents and barangay officials for their prompt response to the clean-up drive despite the short notice. He also noted that this reflects a heightened awareness among people in supporting government initiatives. Other agencies supported this initiative and suggested recognition for the cleanest LGU or Barangay.

DILG Albay Provincial Office Provincial Director Ray Caceres said that every barangay from the 18 LGUs in the province actively participated in the event, each having its own highlighted showcase barangays. Following the completion of the activity, all accumulated waste was collected and handed over for proper disposal, with some materials directed to recycling areas.

Volunteers from different sectors, DILG officials from regional and provincial offices, personnel of various national government agencies, the academic community, youth groups, civil society organizations, private sectors, and representatives from Ako Bikol partylist joined forces to take part in the clean-up alongside the residents of the barangay.

All 20 municipalities of Masbate, along with their respective barangays, actively engaged in the same undertaking.

In Camarines Norte, all 282 barangays from its 12 towns cleaned up the coastlines of the Bagasbas beach, one of the tourist destinations in the province highly acclaimed by surfers and beach enthusiasts for its extensive shoreline and ideal surfing waves.

DILG Camarines Norte Provincial Director Melody Relucio said that the undertaking aims to focus on the government’s ongoing program through the Bagong Pilipinas governance, relying on the unity, collaboration, and collective endeavors of every Filipino.

Following the initiation of the KALINISAN Program, Bagasbas showed the accumulated amounts of waste and recyclable materials, all of which were handed over to their respective community recycling and disposal facilities.

DILG Catanduanes Provincial Director Uldarico Razal Jr., during a short program held at of Palnab Del Sur, the showcase barangay in the island province of Catanduanes stressed the importance of collective action in preserving barangay cleanliness and safeguarding the environment for future generations. Notably, representatives from different national government agencies expressed their support, affirming their commitment to strengthen the initiatives.

Laynes and Palnab Del Sur Punong Barangay Reagan Lumbao expressed heartfelt gratitude to all attendees for their active participation in the activity. A notable turnout of 483 participants from various offices and agencies engaged in a clean-up drive, resulting in the collection of approximately six cubic meters of waste.

“The Kalinisan Program is a significant step towards fostering a cleaner and more sustainable Philippines. By empowering the LGUs, particularly the newly-elected barangay and SK officials and fostering community engagement, we can create a culture of environmental stewardship that will benefit present and future generations. This is a call for collective action, and through Bayanihan, we can ensure a cleaner, and safer Bicol Region and ultimately, a better Philippines for all,” Escober said in closing.

The Kalinisan Program serves as a convergence initiative, consolidating governmental efforts to ensure a healthy and safe environment by empowering LGUs and fostering community engagement rooted in the “bayanihan” tradition. (PIA 5)


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