ENVIRONMENTAL SUPPORT. Davao City Vice Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte (seated, third from left) and lawyer Juan Lorenzo Tañada (seated, second from right), Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Inc. Corporate and Regulatory Affairs director, lead the launching of the “#betterbottlecapchallenge” environmental campaign in Davao City on Aug. 2, 2019. With them are (standing from left to right) lawyer Marc Cox, Coca-Cola Stakeholder Relations manager, Winchester Lemelen, owner of Winder Recycling, and John Reyes, regional sales manager, North Central Davao, of Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Inc. (Contributed photo)

DAVAO CITY — To further promote environmental awareness among Dabawenyos, the local government here has thrown its support behind a private company’s social media campaign aimed at helping to ensure the welfare of the environment.

This, as Vice Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte called for a cleaner and greener celebration of Kadayawan Festival this month.

He said he wanted to craft laws that would contribute to the good quality of the environment on a long-term basis, citing in particular the city’s natural resources.

“I am willing to listen to the groups who are pushing for environmental preservation and consider their thoughts in my decisions,” he said.

The vice mayor said he would back policies pushing for environmental sustainability as he vowed to keep an open line to the City Council which he leads, and groups pushing for the preservation of natural resources.

He stressed that there needs to be a balance, saying the development of the city must be responsive to the needs of the people.

In time for the 34th Kadayawan Festival celebration, Coca-Cola Philippines launched early this month a social media campaign dubbed as “#betterbottlecapchallenge” which will run from August 21 to 25, to further encourage the active participation of local residents and tourists in environmental preservation.

In a statement sent on Saturday, the company said participants are asked to capture, through photographs and videos, the unique and creative ways in which they’ve deposited their used plastic polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles in designated Coca-Cola collection bins, and post these on their social media accounts with the #betterbottlecapchallenge hashtag.

“We are excited to be part of the annual Kadayawan Festival — not only through celebrating life, health, and prosperity, but also by enriching the festivities through our activities geared toward environmental conservation,” said lawyer Juan Lorenzo Tañada, director of Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Inc. Corporate and Regulatory Affairs.

Last August 2, Coca-Cola Philippines officials presented a World Without Waste installation to Vice Mayor Duterte at the Magsaysay Park here that features the beverage brand’s iconic bottle collection bin; a bench made from 1,000 recycled PET bottles and a collection bin made from 600 plastic PET bottles from Winder Recycling Company, a Davao-based partner which gives used plastic bottles a new life by converting them into high-value products, such as school chairs and benches.

Other installations will follow at the People’s Park, Rizal Park, Botanical Garden, and Sta. Ana Wharf in this city.

“We see the warm welcome of our presence at Kadayawan as an opportunity to further promote a cleaner and greener way of living, most especially during a celebration so important to Davaoeños. We hope that this will be the start of a long-term partnership with the Davao City government, which we recognize as a partner in ensuring the welfare of the environment,” Tañada said. (PNA)