Dauin town, the scuba diving and resort capital of Negros Oriental province, envisions of being a "zero waste" municipality in keeping with its thrust of being a sustainable tourist destination in Central Visayas.
This after its municipal government led by Mayor Galicano Truita recently held a coastal cleanup which involved local officials, employees, security personnel, barangay volunteers
The event, which had some 150 participants in 8 barangays, also had a simultaneous underwater cleanup by volunteer scuba divers from the Philippine National Police and Bureau of Fire Protection.
The cleanup is part of the observance of the International Coastal Cleanup Day, and included an educational component which consolidated the environmental, waste management and upcycling initiatives within the town.
The coastal municipality takes pride in its rich ridge to reef ecosystem because of its forested uplands and lush marine life.
Dauin's new environmental direction is inspired by the citation received by its main tourism spot, Apo Island, which was recently awarded as the country's first “zero waste” island barangay by the Zero Waste Cities Project because of its community-based upcycling livelihood projects.
The ZWCP is an initiative of GAIA Asia Pacific and 10 member collaborators from India, Indonesia, and the Philippines, and is funded by the Plastic Solutions Fund.
The project encourages grassroots solid waste management, enabling waste reduction policies, and creating income opportunities in the handling and processing of recyclable materials in the island's four material recovery facilities which integrate solid wastes into construction aggregates, furnishings and decorative items.
One of the country’s sought-after scuba diving sites, Apo boasts of a lush marine biodiversity with lush coral gardens, sea turtles, school of jacks, and other aquatic resources. The 74-hectare island is also recognized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as a Protected Seascape and Landscape.
The island village is taking its earth-friendly lifestyle by pilot testing the use of organic shampoos and body wash, lime soap bars, organic liquid laundry and dishwashing solutions to gradually eliminate plastic waste sachets.
The social enterprise is a partnership with Silver Reef Dive Resort (SRDR) and Plastic Life Sucks (PLS) which will supply refillable pump bottles and biodegradable bathroom and washing essentials. SRDR, a prime mover of the Dauin Resorts Association and the Dauin Tourism Board, is a boutique dive resort and restaurant which is advocating for sustainable tourism practices and coral propagation in the municipality.