Press Release
June 27, 2014

Villar leads clean up activity, stresses need to keep coastlines clean

Sen. Cynthia Villar today led the clean up activity at Metro Manila's last remaining beach and mangrove area, the Las Piñas-Paranaque Criticial Habitat and Eco-Tourism Area (LPPCHEA).

In addressing the crowd, Villar thanked the participants, especially the students and residents who came to join her mark the World Environment Day and the Philippine Arbor Day.

"The students and community leaders are the backbone of the clean up initiative here at LPPCHEA. Without them who religiously come here every week to pick up shoreline trash, the habitat will be polluted and the wildlife thriving here will not survive," Villar said.

Bird species such as the Philippine duck and the Chinese egret frequent LPPCHEA. It also serves as a fingerlings spawning area.

Over 300 volunteers turned up and joined Villar in the cleaning activity from different organizations: LPPCHEA Management, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Philippine Red Cross - Las Piñas Subchapter, Alliance for Stewardship and Authentic Progress (ASAP), Las Piñas Fire Department; and students from Systems Technology Institute, Mary Immaculate Parish Special School, TESDA Las Piñas; and representatives from various homeowners association from Las Piñas and Parañaque.

"I enjoin the public to participate in clean-up activities and take an active role in saving the environment. The kinds of trash collected from the shore tell us that we need to keep harping on the importance of recycling and proper waste disposal," Villar said.

Every week, volunteers collect at least a truck-load of trash from the shoreline, including food wrappers, styrofoam, beverage caps and bottles, cigarette butts and grocery bags. There are times unusual items like a couch, were washed ashore.

Aside from collecting trash, Villar also planted Bani trees to add to the lush greenery in the area. Bani, a local variety of tree, is known for its medicinal uses for rheumatism and skin diseases. The country celebrates June 25 every year as Arbor Day by virtue of Proclamation No. 396.

Villar also hopes that LPPCHEA will soon be opened to the public to offer alternative forms of enjoyment in an urban setting. Activities such as boating, kayaking and informational nature tour can be done in the habitat.

The Nacionalista Party senator has been going around the country to raise awareness on the importance of preserving LPPCHEA, a protected area as declared by Proclamation No. 1412 and listed as one of the world's most important wetlands by the RAMSAR list. It is now being threatened by development initiatives, including the proposal to reclaim the area and construct an airport.

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