By Jun Ramirez
August 13, 2011, 3:16pm
MANILA, Philippines — Employees of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) Saturday gathered on Roxas Boulevard in Manila near the United States Embassy to collect garbage and debris washed up from Manila Bay.
Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. led more than 300 employees in the cleanup drive which is among the activities organized to mark the celebration of the bureau’s 71st anniversary.
The cleanup is a joint project of the bureau, the Philippine Ship Agents’ Association Inc., the Manila city government, and the Philippine Coast Guard.
The participants collected garbage strewing the strip of beach stretching from the US Embassy to the vicinity of the Cultural Center of the Philippines complex.
BI Spokesperson Ma. Antonette Bucasas-Mangrobang said the activity was designed to demonstrate the bureau’s concern for the environment and the desire of its employees to eliminate pollution and restore ecological balance in Manila Bay.
Mangrobang said it was the first time in the bureau’s history that its employees conducted a cleanup of the Manila Bay coastline.
BI boarding section chief Theodore Pascual, the project’s chief organizer, lamented that the polluted condition of the Manila Bay has not drawn much attention from the public, despite its historic significance and prestige as one of the best natural harbors in the Asia-Pacific region. Immigration officers who board ships that anchor in the bay have witnessed how its waters became gradually contaminated with so much solid waste and liquid pollutants over the years, Pascual said.
He announced that as part of the BI’s anniversary celebration, the bureau’s employees will plant trees at the Long Island Bird Sanctuary along the coastal road in Parañaque City on Aug. 27