By Caryl Be Trabadillo
Universities and colleges across Cagayan de Oro City drew together for a city-wide clean-up activity Saturday, February 20, as the contribution of National Service Training Program (NSTP) students to make a cleaner and more livable community.
As early as 5:30 in the morning, the NSTP students and instructors began to gather at the Magsaysay Park in Divisoria, where the program started with Zumba exercises. Among the guests during the program were City Mayor Oscar Moreno and City Local Environment and Natural Resources Office (CLENRO) officer-in-charge Edwin Dael.
“We want the students to be good citizens to our city” said Dennise Edwina Gonzales, NSTP head of Xavier University and president of NSTP Educator’s Association in Region 10 (NEAR-10). “We would like to deliver a strong message to Kagay-anons that the youth uphold good citizenship values and can perform their role in nation building.”
“We have done much in three hours. We want them to feel responsible to their city,” Gonzales added.
Moreno also encouraged the students to be “responsible citizens of the city” who will take care of the environment through solid waste segregation and other initiatives.
The schools were assigned in different locations around the city.
XU NSTP students were assigned to clean around Divisoria and Cogon market.
“I’m glad that I was able to contribute to the city even though I’m just a student,” shared Creyg Orpilla after the activity. “It was fun especially because I was with my friends even though it was a bit tiring.”
Another student Fangki Borres related that it is not simple to maintain cleanliness around the city. “Dili sayon manglimpyo sa Cogon [market] kay dili ma-avoid nga ang mga tao manglabay bisag-asa.” (Cleaning Cogon market is not easy because people throw their garbage anywhere.)
Besides sweeping the streets, the participants removed old posters and vandals on fences and walls.
Eight schools participated in the clean-up drive, namely, Cagayan de Oro College with 1,500 students, Capitol University with 600, Pilgrim Christian College with 80, Mindanao University of Science and Technology with 1,500, Southern Philippines College with 450, STI College with 80 students, Vineyard International Polytechnic School with 80, and XU with the biggest delegation of 1,800 students.
The event was organized by NEAR-10 and XU, with support from CLENRO, Roads and Traffic Administration, Philippine National Police and City Public Services Office as part of NSTP Republic Act 9163 that aims to facilitate “programs or activities contributory to the general welfare and the betterment of life for the members of the community or the enhancement of its facilities, especially those devoted to improving health, education, environment, entrepreneurship, safety, recreation and morals of the citizenry.”