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GPF Manila Opens with Massive Coastal Cleanup
Noel Dacanay, GPF
Manila, Philippines
December 9, 2007

Mainila students pose with World CARP Senior Vice President, Mr. Aya Goto.
On the early morning of December 9 at 6 AM, around 10,000 volunteers from 39 schools and universities in Metro Manila, and over 100 community groups flocked to join in the 1st Balikatang Kabataan para sa Kaunlaran ng Bayan (BKKB) Coastal Cleaning Project, a massive coastal clean-up of the Manila Bay to kick-off the Global Peace Festival (GPF) 2007 celebration.

The World Collegiate Association for the Research of the Principles (W-CARP) Philippines together with the Philippine Society of NSTP Educators and Implementers, Inc. (PSNEI) initiated the project on the theme, "Building Peaceful Communities through Spreading the Culture of Service," with full support from the City of Manila and the Hon. Mayor Alfredo S. Lim. Also of note were the international delegates from around the globe representing different sectors of society who joined the clean-up brigade.

The project marked the beginning of a five-day GPF 2007 celebration upon which the Universal Peace Federation is the principal organizer. This project is the first team up of W-CARP Philippines and the NSTP sector thru PSNEI President, Dr. Florida Labuguen, and Director, NSTP Technological University of the Philippines (TUP).

The first involvement of W-CARP Philippines in the coastal clean-up project was during the 22nd International Coastal Clean-up Day held last September 15, 2007, with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the City of Manila, PSNEI/ NSTP Philippines in. other NGOs.

This year's BKKB Coastal Clean-up Project was facilitated mainly by the NSTP directors themselves hand in hand with the W-CARP Philippines' staffs and members; also supported by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the International Service for Peace, the Mister and Miss University International (MMUI) 2007 with other local and international Collegiate Ambassadors for Peace (CAP) as ambassadors of goodwill belonging to worldwide Student Peacebuilding Corps (SPC).

The program was led by emcee, Dr. Rogelio I. Espiritu, Director, NSTP University of the East (UE) with Dr. Labuguen who gave the welcome remarks and presented the participants to the honorable guests. Dr. Christopher B.H. Kim, Regional Chairman of UPF Asia and Founder of the International Cultural Educational Foundation (ICEF) emphasized in his message the significance of protecting and preserving the environment as a gift from God.

Left: Undersecretary Josephine dC Dominguez, Department of Liaison for Political Affairs, Malacanang Palace, Mr. & Miss University International 2007, Hon. Mayor Alfredo S. Lim, Dr. Christopher BH Kim, Dr. Aldrin Nituma, Dr. Florida S. Labuguen, and emcee, Dr. Rogelio I. Espiritu joined hands to kick-off the coastal clean-up.
The Hon. Alfredo S. Lim, Mayor, City of Manila in his keynote speech iterated the that the civil society, the community settlers in the vicinity, not only the government has both shared responsibilities in maintaining and sustaining environmental wellness of the coastlines and clearing of waterways as it is a repercussion of inter-connected cause and effect. He is inspired to see the youth becoming prime movers in taking the challenge to work on the same grounds of doing real service in action.

While Mister and Miss University International (MMUI) 2007 Mr. Ho Jee Yuan and Miss Chanidaphar Sanguanpuak also extended their warm greetings and encouragement to all the volunteers.

The opening program was closed by the powerful speech of Dr. Aldrin Nituma, President, W-CARP Philippines, saying that all volunteers to commit in sustaining the coastal environment not as a one time event or work done a sort of school compulsory requirement but one's inherent ecological responsibility. He ended by leading the project slogan, "Kilos Kabataan, Mag-CUSA Tayo! Dahil Kaya Natin To!!!" (Youth Take Action, Let's Initiate, for We Can Do It!!!)

After the opening program, the NSTP Directors signaled the start of the half-day coastal clean-up and the volunteers responded by going to their designated areas.

The grand opening of the GPF 2007 through the coastal clean-up brought to light its vision of peace by having committed stakeholders and volunteers in creating a substantial platform of "One Family Under God."

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