During summer, the PBA travelling fellowship went to our coasts and held our very first PBA Shore & Dive Clean-up in Anilao,Batangas. The event held on 16-17 April 2016 at Aqua Venture Reef & Dive Resort was organized by new PBA member Martin Yasay, in cooperation with the Philippine Coast Guard, the Municipal Tourism Office of Anilao and their Bantay Dagat volunteers.
1st Vice President Jose Luis Agcaoili welcomed all the participants. LTSG Johnson Pabilane, Legal Officer of the Marine Environmental Protection Command of the Philippine Coast Guard, Ms. Pacencia Casapao, the Local Tourism Officer of Anilao and the Bantay Dagat Volunteers, and Ms. Joy Castillo of Divenet Philippines (a scuba divers’ group) spoke on the pressures imposed by tourism and development on our precious coral reefs and beaches. A video presentation dramatically showed the impact of pollution on our coral reefs and marine life. It effectively conveyed the urgent need for the preservation of this precious global common. At the end of the program, our President donated snorkeling equipment to the local Bantay Dagat Volunteers to help them accomplish their difficult job as environmental guardians.
Following the informative forum, PBA members and their families, experienced how difficult it is to clean up after others who mindlessly pollute our beautiful coasts. Working together with Philippine Coast Guard personnel, PBA members and their families collected rubbish on the shores of Anilao. PBA divers had a dive clean-up and collected trash that littered the otherwise beautiful coral gardens. To mark the occasion, PBA divers brought with them the PBA banner to the depths of the sea.
Our President also raffled off introductory dives to new PBA members to encourage them to explore the beauty that lies under the sea. A Philippine Coast Guard patrol vessel made available for the activity gave PBA members and their families led by Trustee Miguel Luis Orosa, an opportunity to ride along in one of their sea patrols around Batangas Bay. The visit was capped by a hosted dinner and an evening of fellowship that lasted until early dawn.
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