Aboitiz Land leads coastal cleanup along San Juan shores

To target seasonal pollution issues along San Juan, Batangas shores, Aboitiz Land, the property company of the Aboitiz Group, has led a strategic coastal cleanup in collaboration with the Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (AFI) and Communities Organized for Resource Allocation (CORA) Nonprofit.

The shores of San Juan provide vital economic livelihoods and recreation opportunities community members wish to preserve. 

However, seasonal coastal threats from marine pollution, especially plastic waste, have heightened concerns around habitat and ecosystem protection in the area.

Locals observe a worrying increase in non-biodegradable debris, particularly plastic packaging and bottles, washing up ashore. With plastic pollution levels rising globally, this surplus seasonal influx jeopardizes community health and treasured spaces for livelihoods and leisure.

Dubbed “Coastal Cleanup Amihan,” Named after the amihan winds, which characterize the strong monsoon season spanning from late October to early April, the initiative specifically addresses the environmental challenges along the coastline of Brgy. Calubcub II.

The initiative brought together locals, government agencies, and private sectors unified in one shared mission—raising public awareness on the impact of plastic products and other disposable items that end up as marine debris that threatens not only aquatic life but also communities.

Joining the effort are the Seafront residents, Aboitiz Land employees, Municipal Environmental and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) San Juan Batangas and MENRO Sariaya Quezon, Philippine Coast Guard, Barangay Calubcub Officials, and PNP San Juan.

(From left) Coastal Cleanup Amihan at Seafront Residences showcases Aboitiz Land’s ongoing dedication to sustainability, reflecting their proactive approach to preserving our coastal ecosystems. From left to right: Aboitiz Land assistant manager for corporate social responsibility Joseph Rellora, Calubcub II Elementary school principal Elsie de los Reyes, CORA Foundation founder and executive director Antoinette Cherish Taus, municipal environment and natural resources office representative Noelito Pasco, barangay captain for Calubcub II Victorino P. Espino Sr., MENRO Sariaya Quezon officer Randy Tronilla, Philippine Coast Guard deputy chief of district staff for civil relations service CG LTJG Dawn Baterbonia, Philippine Coast Guard auxiliary commander 519th Squadron Edison Hernandez, and San Juan Philippine Coast Guard sub station commander CG PO1 Ernani Apostol.

“Non-biodegradable debris, especially plastics, threaten not only the health of our oceans long-term, but the ability of communities like San Juan to enjoy clean and thriving coastal habitats,” said Aboitiz Land CEO David Rafael. 

“Cleanups like amihan represent the commitment of the locals and private sectors to preserve our coastal environments and ensure access to stunning seascape views of the province.”

While the annual coastal cleanup happens during September, locals identified the amihan season as needing special attention due to the sheer volume of debris ending up on their shores during this time of the year. 

Volunteers collected nearly 750 kg of plastic waste, including bottles, wrappers, caps, sachets and styrofoam. Armed with trash bags and pick-up tools, the teams fanned out along the coastline to promote cleanliness and help restore ecological balance.

The massive volume of marine debris and plastic waste products collected by Coastal Cleanup Amihan calls for the urgent need to make more conscientious consumption choices to avoid harming our environment as part of shared responsibility to one another.

Aboitiz Foundation President and chief operating officer Maribeth Marasigan commended the day’s accomplishments, saying “the clean-up efforts contribute to a cleaner, brighter future for our oceans and shores. When we change today, we can shape the future and create a sustainable legacy. Let us continue the work, and may this mark the continuation of a more eco-conscious journey for all of us.”

While Coastal Cleanup Amihan is a huge success, Aboitiz Land highlights that consistent effort is still critically needed to curb the influx of ocean waste each amihan season. Continuing its commitment to the people and environment, the company vows to lead preservation and restoration efforts to keep the shores pristine and welcoming for families and community members along the San Juan coast.

A subsidiary of the Aboitiz Group, Aboitiz Land is built on a firm foundation with a hundred-year heritage of advancing business and communities.