A television host who used to work for government found scattered plastic litter on the beach of Boracay during the dry run for the island’s reopening to tourists after a months-long cleanup operation.
Mercado shared snapshots of the garbage, which she admitted was not hers, on October 15.
“Few hours after the dry run started for the reopening of Bora, a resident took pictures of plastics back in the beach front. Seryoso ba kayo? It’ll take two weeks to make it dirty once again!” Mercardo said in the caption.
Few hours after the dry run started for the reopening of Bora, a resident took pictures of plastics back in the beach front 😡Seryoso ba kayo? It’ll take two weeks to make it dirty once again! 🤦♀️
Mercado tagged the official Facebook account of Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat of tourism. However, she did not mention the source of the photos and the location where they were shot.
Many users were quick to denounce the photos of the litter, suggesting how undisciplined Filipinos are.
Others, meanwhile, chided Mercado for not picking up the trash herself.
No trash bins?
There may not be enough trash bins in those areas, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu explained when asked about the photos.
“I’ve directed the environmental patrol assigned to the area to put trash can in that area. Trash bins recently donated will be issued to establishments to be placed in the white beach under the coconut trees,” Cimatu said.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat meanwhile urged the public for being concerned enough to keep the place clean with or without trash bins around.
In an interview, Puyat said people in Marikina show discipline by temporarily keeping their litter without garbage bins.
“We also need the help of the private sector. We’re all in this together to keep Boracay clean,” she said.
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Thank you @cebupacificair for donating these beautifully designed and informative trash bins, which are now being placed around Boracay island. Tourists no longer have an excuse to litter. Throw your trash in the garbage bins, where they belong. Keep our beaches clean and pristine. #juaneffect #letskeepboracayclean #responsibletourism #sustainabletourism #itsmorefuninthephilippines🇵🇭
Implementing a citizen’s arrest for throwing garbage around is a policy being considered.
“We will be proposing magkaroon ng citizen’s arrest. Sila mismo magbantay sa kanilang lugar para masueto ang mga pasaway na nagkakalat sa Boracay,” Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said.
A ban on single-use plastics, such as the ones on the photos, was implemented by the local government of Malay last month. Disposable products were seen as a major contributor to the growing waste problem in the island.
The world-renowned beach was closed off from tourists on April 26 to pave way for a massive cleanup after President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement of it as a “cesspool.”