Monday, October 02, 2006

Beautify CNMI! in the news

Marianas Variety, Tuesday, October 2, 2006

Litterbugs Beware
By Emmanuel T. Erediano
Variety News Staff

BETTER think before you throw that garbage. Litter control officers with citation tickets are ready to bust litterbugs on Saipan.

The 20 enforcers got complete kits — litter ticket complaints or citations and summons, sheets for narrative reports and the Litter Control Act complaint report — when they were awarded certification during Friday’s signing of the National Public Lands Day Proclamation at American Memorial Park.

One of the officers said there’s no way they will tolerate litter bugs as long as the Beautify CNMI! Campaign is in full force.

Wearing dark blue T-shirts, the enforcers will issue tickets to those they catch in the act of throwing even a cigarette butt or spitting betelnut juice.

The newly certified litterbug busters are Juliana Dela Rosa, Marvin Seman, Christopher Tomokane, Tina Sablan all of the Division of Environmental Quality; John Delos Reyes of Coastal Resource Management; Francisco Rasa, Jess Omar, Jeffrey Castro, Benjamin Palacios, Benjamin Limes, Enrique Magofna, Michael Reyes, Raymond Sablan, Anthony Mareham of the Department of Land and Natural Resources; Joseph Mendiola, Romeo Herman, Sevio Chargualaf Jr. of the Department of Public Works; Antonio Aguon, Pressciardo Camacho of the Saipan Mayor’s Office; and Frank Tudela of the Marianas Visitors Authority.

Tina Sablan, DEQ's waste reduction and recycling coordinator, said the litter control officers will be crucial partners in the Beautify CNMI! campaign.

She said aside from catching litterbugs, the enforcers will reach out to students to tell them about the Litter Control Act and ongoing efforts to clean up the island.
The enforcers will be at beach parks around the island on weekends to pass out trash bags to members of the public.

Sablan said they aim to educate the community about efforts to enforce the Litter Control Act.

Steve Hiney, the campaign’s liter control chairman, made some interesting points during his speech on Friday about adopting beaches and roads.

He quoted a Native American saying: “We don’t inherit the land from our forefathers, we’re borrowing it from our children,”

DLNR Secretary Ignacio Dela Cruz joined the 1,020 volunteers who will participate in the cleanup campaign.

As of Friday, 200 volunteers had already planted 1,700 trees and collected 3,000 pounds of trash all over Saipan.

Sablan said November has been designated “Zero Tolerance on Litter.”

She said after devoting the whole month of October to vigorous anti-litter education, there will be no excuses and no tolerance for “trashing the islands.”

She said they want to make the campaign a CNMI-wide effort.

The Tinian mayor, she added, has expressed interest in replicating the campaign on their island this month, Sablan said.

DEQ and the Department of Public Safety may send personnel to train litter bug busters on Tinian.

Sablan said they are hoping that Rota will also implement the program.

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