Senator Cynthia Villar has renewed her call for the public to do their part in safeguarding the oceans and seas for the benefit of everyone who depend on the bounties of the seas.
During the International Coastal Clean-up Day or ICC celebration at the Las Pinas-Paranaque Wetland Park, Villar said it is crucial to protect the environment “and our seas because we and our fisherfolk depend on it.”
“This year's ICC theme, 'Clean Seas For Healthy Fisheries,' emphasizes the crucial connection between ocean health and the abundance of our fisheries. Clean waters are essential for the well-being of marine life and a vibrant fishing sector,” she said.
The ICC is held annually every third Saturday of September; it represents the world's largest volunteer effort for ocean health.
"Sadly, our seas face threats from habitat degradation and pollutants like plastics, which not only reduce the fish population but also affects the livelihood of our fisherfolks," said Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food.
While the country’s fishermen strive to provide the nation with the ocean's bounty, Villar lamented that they are often the ones most impacted by the worsening state of the seas, fish habitats, and climate events such as El Niño and frequent storms.
"We are fortunate to have our ICC here in Las Piñas – Parañaque Wetland Park, a place where we can immerse ourselves in nature while participating in the clean-up," she added.
Volunteers from around the globe gather on beaches, coasts, rivers, other waterways, and dive sites to remove trash and document the volume and type of trash collected.
The LPPWP is a wetland park protected under RA No. 11038 or the Expanded NIPAS Act of 2018, which Villar advocated in the Senate.
LPPWP is also recognized as the sixth Wetland of International Importance under the International Convention for the Conservation of Wetlands o Ramsar Convention.
As member of the Ramsar Convention, it is the duty of the government to protect Ramsar sites, including LPPWP for long term protection of our natural resouces, according to Villar.
The LPPWP, she said, offers crucial benefits to the local residents of Las Piñas, Parañaque, and Bacoor, including safeguarding against flooding, high tides, and storm surges.