She climbed into the boat, prepared her cleaning tools and started netting the floating trash—plastic bottles, pieces of Styrofoam and single-use plastic bags.
Fifty-one-year-old Evelyn Agupitan, a mother of 11, tirelessly removed every piece of trash she encountered as the boat crawled along the river.
Agupitan has been a street sweeper in Bocaue, Bulacan for three years now. Upon hearing that ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation Inc. (ALKFI) Bantay Kalikasan and the local government will hold a river and community cleanup, she decided to join the activity without a second thought.
She explained that the community is directly affected by floods especially during the rainy season. This is why proper waste disposal is necessary, she added.
Over 76,000 kilograms of waste were recovered during the cleanup, which was organized in cooperation with the Bocaue Tourism Council, Department of Environment and Natural Resources- Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office Bulacan, Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office, Sangguniang Kabataan Federation of Bocaue, and the League of Barangays.
After the simultaneous cleanup, the participants gathered for the Kalikasan Summit. ALKFI chair and Bantay Kalikasan founder Gina Lopez led the speakers from various sectors who shared best practices in protecting the environment.
“It’s the era of climate change. We have to take collective action to protect the resources that we have. We need to work together,” Lopez said. She vowed to help the local government of Bocaue by realizing its ecotourism potentials.
The Bocaue Kalikasan Summit was held in celebration of Earth Month. (Story/Photos by: Eva Mae Nares)