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DENR mobilizing communities in cleaning esteros and rivers draining into Manila Bay.

By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is taking the Manila Bay rehabilitation works down to the esteros and rivers draining into the bay.

On March 31, simultaneous cleanup of Manila Bay tributaries, dubbed the "Battle for the Rivers and Esteros," will be conducted and aims to involve communities and empower them in protecting their own waterways, DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu said.

"We at the DENR are doing this to mobilize community participation through their barangay executives in the cleanup, rehabilitation, education, and protection activities in the effort to rehabilitate the Manila Bay," Cimatu said.

According to the DENR chief, the first phase involves the cleanup of esteros and waterways, reduction of fecal coliform level and other discharges from establishments, implementation of solid waste management, and planning for the relocation of informal settlers.

"The first activity will involve the regular conduct of cleanup on garbage and debris, removal of silt by dredging, and introduction of bioremediation, infrastructure improvement and other engineering interventions, such as trash traps and silt curtains," Cimatu said.

Bioremediation refers to the use of naturally occurring microorganisms or other forms of life to consume and break down environmental pollutants in order to clean up a polluted site. The microorganisms can also be deliberately introduced in the site.

Cimatu said there will also be an intensified promotion of waste reduction, reuse, and recycling; provision of adequate receptacles for waste segregation; and conduct of information, education and communication activities.

Two months since the Manila Bay rehabilitation launch, DENR and Laguna Lake Development Authority have already issued a total of 263 notices of violation and 119 cease and desist orders to establishments in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon provinces) that have violated the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004 and other pertinent environmental laws.


DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu rides a yacht to inspect the Manila Bay in Baseco Compound, Tondo, Manila, January 12, 2019 (RIO LEONELLE DELUVIO / MANILA BULLETIN)

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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Mar 28, 2019
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