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02/04/19: Coca-Cola partners with Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF)—led by DENR, DILG, and DOT—for environmental stewardship (BUSINESS MIRROR)

Aklan, Philippines – Through the World Without Waste vision, the Coca-Cola System in the Philippines once again demonstrates its firm commitment toward environmental preservation and stewardship by providing a top-of-the-line cleaning machinery to the municipality of Malay, Aklan, which aims to service and help the community in their thrust for a continuous responsible care of Boracay’s beaches. The partnership strives to be among the perfect examples of the private sector and the public sphere coming together for the responsible stewardship of the nation’s natural resources.

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“The collaboration with the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) attests that we are a staunch partner of the government in looking for opportunities to further the country’s goals towards environmental preservation,” says Gareth McGeown, CEO & President of Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines (CCBPI), the bottling arm of Coca-Cola in the Philippines. “This endeavor also reaffirms our dedication to attaining the vision of a World Without Waste, and we are committed to working with all stakeholders toward realizing this goal. We are grateful for this opportunity to join hands and work earnestly with like-minded institutions in government.”

Together, CCBPI and the Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines held on Thursday, March 28, 2019, a ceremonial turnover of the equipment to the Municipal Government of Aklan and to members of the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF)—represented by Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, and Tourism Undersecretary Edwin Enrile—to further pursue environmental stewardship via a sustainable and holistic plan that begins with the introduction of the surf rake. A signing of the Memorandum of Agreement will be held at a later date with Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.

“This inter-agency, inter-sector collaboration is a significant development that we hope will go a long way in addressing an urgent concern regarding one of the Philippines’ most beloved beaches,” says Cecile Alcantara, President of the Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines. “The Coca-Cola System is proud to be part of this endeavor, which is testament to the possibilities realized by strong, genuine partnerships between stakeholders with a common goal.”

The Surf Rake by H. Barber and Sons, manufactured in the USA, is the most popular tractor-towed beach-cleaner in the world— this is because it is the fastest and most efficient beach-cleaner in the market. Operated by an individual from the seat of a towing tractor, the Surf Rake provides safe, fast, and efficient beach-cleaning.

Close coordination with the local government of Malay, Aklan will be undertaken to ensure the proper and efficient use of the Surf Rake, toward a genuine multi-stakeholder collaboration for the benefit of our environment. Coca-Cola will also work with the DOT and the local government of Malay to further establish a holistic and sustainable environmental preservation plan that will also enjoin both locals and tourists to take action, and do their part in the solid waste management efforts in the island.

In all, the introduction of the Surf Rake, as part of this plan, complements the national government’s aims for the preservation of our world-famous beaches—and it also ties in with Coca-Cola’s global vision of helping create a World Without Waste.

“We recognize that there is a global waste problem, and like every one, we have a responsibility to help solve it,” says McGeown. “As the bottler, our presence and deep foundation in the communities where we are present places us in a unique position to fully understand the waste management and recycling situation at a local level. This then enables us to help advocate for new solutions that can help address the specific needs of the communities we serve—making the vision of a World Without Waste more accessible and possible for everyone.”

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