BUTUAN CITY – With a strong commitment to sustainability, the Department of Trade and Industry-Agusan del Norte (DTI-ADN) Provincial Office launched the 2023 Consumer Welfare Month (CWM) celebration through a coastal cleanup initiative along the shores of Manapa, Buenavista, on October 3.

The cleanup effort commenced at 5:30 a.m. as some 100 volunteers from diverse age groups and backgrounds gathered at Manapa Beach. Private businesses, civic organizations, and youth groups, including Prince Hypermart Buenavista, Agusan Centennial Legacy Lions Club, Butuan Golden Hearts Lions Club, Konsumador Hong Butuan, Inc. (KHBI), Crimebusters-Butuan Chapter, and Rotaract Club of Central Butuan-Caraga State University Chapter, actively participated in the cleanup.

Armed with gloves and trash bags, these volunteers were determined to rid the shoreline of plastic bottles, bags, and other non-biodegradable debris, including microplastics.

“DTI-ADN is committed to securing a sustainable future for Agusan del Norte and setting an inspiring example for communities. The Manapa coastal cleanup not only celebrated consumer welfare but also nurtured a deeper sense of environmental responsibility among consumers, encouraging them to become stewards of the environment,” Provincial Director Lorijane Sacote said .

Sacoted added that it demonstrated the power of collective action and highlighted the potential of each individual to effect positive environmental change, emphasizing that “the unity of Agusan del Norte’s communities for a shared environmental cause showcased the remarkable potential of grassroots initiatives for sustainable living.”

The initiative received support from the Barangay Council of Manapa, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Caraga, and the City Environment and Natural Resources Office of Nasipit and Buenavista. These organizations participated in raising awareness about sustainable environmental practices and responsible consumption.

“We are grateful to DTI-ADN for this environmental initiative, and as expected, it was a successful event,” Nora Rama, a board director of KHBI, said.

Jocelyn Yee of the Agusan Centennial Legacy Lions Club also shared that “we had fun connecting with nature and creating TikTok videos with all the participants. Thank you for inviting us!”

As a gesture of appreciation, the Agusan Centennial Legacy Lions Club also distributed 100 pairs of slippers to all coastal cleanup volunteers.

This year’s CWM theme, “Generation S: Generation Sustainable,” underscores the pressing need for consumers to become environmental stewards in the face of mounting climate change and pollution challenges. ♦

Date of release: 09 October 2023