SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — Hundreds of volunteers from the various community organizations, schools and government agencies converged here on Sunday to clean up the beach along the popular Boardwalk Park here in preparation for the Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay triathlon event here on June 2.
The volunteers from the Philippine Coast Guard-Subic, its auxiliary PCGA 111th Squadron, the Philippine National Police, Ramon Magsaysay University in Subic, Zambales, and local schools Aura College and Gordon College, scoured the coast for trash, and bagged them for sorting and eventual disposal.
But this was nothing extraordinary, said SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma, who takes pride in a strong culture of volunteerism among stakeholders of the Subic Bay Freeport.
“This Freeport may have its natural attractions to thank for being a major tourist destination in the country today, but it is the culture of volunteerism here that keeps the local tourism industry moving forward,” Eisma said.
“Without the cooperation and support of the Subic Bay area community, the SBMA would not be able to make Subic the top tourist destination in Central Luzon for the last six years,” she added. “Volunteers help keep Subic tourism alive.”
The initiative of stakeholders that include SBMA employees, Freeport business locators, socio-civic organizations, residents, and even visitors to volunteer in clean-up activities here is a result of Eisma’s call for “malasakit” or concern for the common good.
This summer, as Subic prepared to host a mix of sports, entertainment and religious events, volunteer groups led by various SBMA departments buckled down to work to keep beaches, river banks and vacant lots clean and pleasing to the eye.
Today, members of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Subic Station, Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA) 111th Squadron, and the Subic Bay Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SBMPC), conduct monthly coastal clean-up along Malawaan Park and Boardwalk area.
“PCGA is mandated to support and assist the community in the protection of the marine environment and its resources, so we are happy to volunteer in cleaning our beach areas, especially in Subic Bay,” said Commander Eduardo Mabita Jr., director of the PCGA division in Subic.
Other groups such as Toyota Avanza Pilipinas (Olongapo Chapter), Lions Club of Olongapo, Gordon College and Aura College, the Police Regional Maritime Unit (Subic) are among the regular participants of the beach clean-ups along the Boardwalk Park here.
The Boardwalk Area is a favorite place for outdoor concerts, and will be the venue for several beach and water sports events in the upcoming Southeast Asian Games that Subic will host on November 30 to December 10.
Jem Camba, manager of the SBMA Tourism Department, noted that with 1.7 million guest arrivals last year, the Subic Bay Freeport continues to hold its position as the best tourist destination in Central Luzon based on the Department of Tourism’s 2018 report.
“With the help of our Subic Bay stakeholders, we are able to provide excellent customer service and create worthy and enjoyable events, and thus make Subic Bay a perfect getaway destination,” Camba also said.