Villar leads celebration of International Volunteer Day at LPPCHEA

Sen. Cynthia A. Villar onThursday joined the rest of the world in the observation of the 2016International Volunteer Day and led hundreds of volunteers in numerousenvironment-friendly activities to mark the celebration.

Some 500 environmental volunteers from partner government agenciesjoined Villar in a coastal clean-up of the Las PiAas-ParaAaque Critical Habitatand Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA) to kick-off the event, which carries this year'stheme, 'GlobalApplause - Give Volunteers A Hand.'

The group also enjoyed Bird Watching and had a breath of fresh air while in aNature Walk at the LPPCHEA grounds, a 175-hectare protected area which is MetroManila's last remaining beach and mangrove area.

'We all love Mother Nature. And there is nothing more that touches myheart than seeing hundreds of volunteers share my passion. This act ofvolunteerism to protect the environment is one of the most noble, if not thenoblest of all, because the task entails so much work, time and effort,' Villartold the volunteers present during the event.

The observance of the International Volunteer Day, set on December 5,aims to encourage organizations and individual volunteers to work together onprojects and campaigns, such as environment protection, that will promote theircontributions to economic and social development at local, national andinternational levels.

This year's observance celebrates volunteerism in all facets and paysspecial tribute to the success achieved through volunteerism. The theme,'GlobalApplause- Give Volunteers A Hand', recognizes volunteers all over theworld for making peace and sustainable development a reality.

To give tribute to the achievements of our country's environmentvolunteers, Villar partnered with Villar SIPAG, the LPPCHEA Management, theCAVITEX-CARE (Cavitex Advocates for the Restoration of the Environment), theAlliance for Stewardship and Authentic Progress (ASAP), the Save Freedom IslandMovement (SFIM), the Ministry of Ecology of the Archdiocese of Manila, theCenter for Environmental Concerns, the Ecowaste Coalition, the GreenpeaceSoutheast Asia, the Mother Earth Foundation, the Oceana Philippines and theSociety for the Conservation of Wetlands Philippines.

Government agencies that participated in the event were the Departmentof Environment and Natural Resources and its sub-agencies such as theBiodiversity Management Bureau, the Forest Management Bureau and the Manila BayCoordinating Office; the National Solid Waste Management Commission, the PasigRiver Rehabilitation Commission, the Bureau of Fire Protection-Las PiAas City,Maynilad, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Philippine Coast Guard,Philippine Coast Guard Auxillary-NCR Luzon, Philippine Navy, Red Cross-LasPiAas subchapter, PNP Maritime Group, and the DEPED Schools Division of LasPiAas and ParaAaque.

Villar told the volunteers: 'I am truly grateful to all of you fortaking on the challenge to be environmental warriors even if you don't getanything back except the joy of contributing towards the preservation of ournatural resources.'

'Let us continue to work hand in hand towards the achievement of ourgoals. There will be rough roads and difficult bends along the way, but I amconfident that we will all surpass these difficulties and make ourcontributions to environment protection, no matter how small and simple, befelt,' Villar added.

The observance of the 2016 International Volunteers Day from 6:30 to 10:30 inthe morning on Thursday (December 1) was held at the LPPCHEA grounds in LongIsland, Las PiAas City.

Source: Senate of the Philippines.

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