The environmental journalism class of the College of Mass Communication (CMC) led an early morning clean-up drive last Sept. 12 after observing the smell coming out from the coast of Rizal Boulevard due to scattered trash.
The group called “SWAT” or “Soil, Water, Air, and Trees” Team from the CMC is advocating project “Lihok Alang saMaanyag nga Boulevard” or LAMBO. They are under Dr. Rosario Baseleres, the adviser of Environmental Campaign or Environmental Journalism 53 class.
“We have heard complaints from the people, especially tourists. We observed the smell coming out from the sea and the [trash] scattered everywhere in the boulevard,” said Paulynne dela Cruz, member of SWAT Team.
With their cleaning materials, about 30 students from different college organizations participated in the event. These volunteers were from the Kapunungan sa mga Mass Communicators, Yakap Juan, and Silliman University Future Electrical Engineers-Institute of Electrical Engineers in the Philippines Inc.
“What we did [in the] coastal clean-up was to mobilize the society [and] to show that to be able to reach our goals, each of us much show our care and sincerity by not throwing trash [anywhere] and cleaning our trash,” said Ronelyn Faith Vailoces, head of SWAT Team.
Rizal Boulevard, one of Dumaguete’s tourist spots, stretches almost ten blocks along the shoreline of the city. Many joggers, hikers, and tourists visit the boulevard.
SWAT, composed of six fourth year mass communication students, promotes proper garbage disposal to preserve the beauty of Rizal Boulevard. The students are Ronelyn Faith Vailoces, Paulynne Joyce delaCuz, Sheena Mae Diongco, Kirsty Louise Balansag, Gian Dominic Pantejo, and Winona Jane Agir.
“We do this campaign to encourage people and let them think of the environment, not just themselves. Our aim is behavioral change among the people, and we can’t achieve it if we won’t start within ourselves,” said dela Cruz.
Dela Cruz added that their group faced financial challenges because the sponsors they tapped have not yet confirmed to sponsor their project, so they had to use their own money for the expenses.
The City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) supported the clean-up drive. The class is planning to submit a campaign proposal to CENRO, the city tourism office, and city government to sustain LAMBO.
By Leslie J. Batallones