MANILA -- The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will spearhead the Saturday (Feb. 16) clean-up of Baseco "Beach" in Manila Bay.

"It'll be the first activity of KALAKASAN (Kilos Kabataan para sa Kalikasan) program," said EMB environmental management specialist Vermon Timbas, citing the department's joint initiative with the National Youth Commission and Department of Interior and Local Government to support Manila Bay's rehabilitation.

He noted that Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) leaders from various areas will join the clean-up and help mobilize the youth for this activity.

The DENR and EMB will supervise the clean-up, enabling SK leaders to learn how to properly undertake this activity.

SK is the youth council under Republic Act 7160 (Local Government Code of 1991) created to provide young people in the country the opportunity to directly participate in local governance.

Aside from reducing the volume of trash littering Baseco Beach, Timbas said the clean-up aims to demonstrate how youth-led community action on a regular basis can help address environmental degradation.

"To be sustainable and youth-led, SK officials must initiate clean-ups in their 'barangay' areas," he said.

He added that it is time for SK officials to make environmental clean-ups part of their regular activities like sports fests.

Launched last month, KALAKASAN hopes to generate among SK leaders the awareness and critical thinking to help address environmental issues.

Aside from SK leaders, Timbas said the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission also partnered with the environment department on the clean-up this Saturday.

"We chose Baseco Beach because there's a lot of trash in that area," he said.

He said the activities for the clean-up include recording the sacks of trash to be gathered in the area.

EMB is also reminding participants to bring used sacks for the activity.

Participants must also bring face masks, boots and reusable gloves for their use, EMB noted.

To avoid generating added trash in Baseco, EMB said the participants must also bring reusable cutlery aside from packing their food and water in reusable containers.

Philippine Coast Guard members joined Baseco residents and other volunteers in cleaning up Baseco Beach early this month, and collected some 550 sacks of trash during the activity. (PNA)