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‘Battle for Rivers and Esteros’: Massive clean-up of Manila Bay

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Monday, April 1st, 2019

DPWH personnel collect plastic waste from polluted esteros | Courtesy: DENR

MANILA, Philippines — Around 5,301 sacks of garbage were collected on Sunday (March 31) in the ‘Battle for Rivers and Esteros’ — a massive clean-up drive of Manila Bay.

Waterways leading to Manila Bay were filled with piles of waste.

Some volunteers used small boats to collect trash while others needed to use cranes and backhoes.

Various groups, government agencies, and residents participated in the cleaning of the waterways that lead to Manila Bay.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu said cleaning the waterways is a step toward cleaning the rivers leading to the bay.

“Ang Parañaque River natin ay isa sa medyo maduming river na dumidiretso sa Manila Bay. Kailangang linisin natin ang Parañaque River, pero ang Parañaque River hindi natin malilinis kung hindi natin isama ang mga estero na pumupunta sa Parañaque River, (The Parañaque River is among the polluted rivers that lead to Manila Bay. We need to clean that. But we cannot do so if we will not clean first the waterways leading to Parañaque River) he said.

Meanwhile, the Department of the Interior of Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año recommends relocating all informal settlers living along the waterways.

He said cleaning Manila Bay is for the sake of the future generation and that it is time to take action.

“Alam ko sa ginagawa nating ito marami tayong nasasagasaan, Mayroong sasama ang loob , pero wala tayo magagwa dahil wala nang panahon, (I know that our activities might upset some groups. They might protest but there’s nothing we can do about it. There is no time),” he said.

Residents who volunteered in the clean-up believe this will help improve their barangay.

Among the rivers that were cleaned include Tullahan, Tinejeos, Pasig, Navotas, Parañaque and San Juan.

Amy Gallarte, a resident of Barangay. Tumana, Marikina City said that cleaning the waterways can help prevent flooding in their area.

“Kailangan po kasi natin ang kalinisan lalong-lalo na po ang creek. Kasi pag nagbara ang creek hindi po dadaloy ang tubig, makukulong po iyan, (We need cleanliness especially in the waterways. Because once it gets blocked, water will get stuck there) she said.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

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Prioritize implementation of environmental laws—DENR to newly elected local officials

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Monday, May 20th, 2019

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) urges newly elected local officials to prioritize implementation of environmental laws.

DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu reminded the new leaders to prioritize full and strict implementation of environmental laws, particularly on solid waste management.

“The task force cannot do it alone. We need the full cooperation of LGUs,” Cimatu added.

Meanwhile, DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and LGU Concerns, Benny Antiporda, called on the local government units (LGU) to report any law violations.

“By doing so, these officials will send the right signal early on in their administration and that is, they do not tolerate any wrongdoing. We will go after both newly elected and outgoing local officials who violated environmental laws,” Antiporda said.

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Eco group urges clean-up, recycling of campaign materials

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, May 16th, 2019

Courtesy : Ecowaste Coalition

Eco group, EcoWaste Coalition, urged candidates, parties and the general public to clean-up and recycle the campaign materials they used during the elections.

“Regardless of the outcome of your election bid, we appeal to all candidates and parties to take down your campaign materials without delay. Kabit, sabit o dikit mo, tanggal mo,” said Aileen Lucero, the group’s national coordinator.

EcoWaste Coalition also urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to upgrade existing rules to prevent and reduce trash in future elections.

The group said the campaign materials can be used as upholstery material, as a protection against rain or sunlight for vehicles, and as awnings for homes and stores.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reported a total of 168.84 tons of election-related materials collected from March 1 until May 14.

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Establishment owners in General Luna, Siargao Island to undergo environmental laws seminar—DENR

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, May 9th, 2019


The famous boardwalk in Cloud 9, General Luna, Siargao Islands, Philippines during sunrise. (Photo: Jupit Reyes/Creative Commons) 

Establishment owners in General Luna, Siargao Island will undergo environmental laws seminar after around 700 establishments had been found to have violated environmental laws, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

400 of these establishments don’t have Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) while around 300 establishments violated the 20-meter easement zone.

DENR Caraga Regional Executive Director Felix Alicer has admitted that they have lapses in the implementation of these laws.

He also said that the said buildings were constructed without considering the requirements for a building permit.

“I must admit na mayroon tayong kakulangan sa pag-implement ng batas in coordinating with the building officials. Kasi sa tingin namin na-issue itong mga (I must admit we have lapses in implementing the laws in coordinating with the building officials. Because we think, these building permits were issued) building permit in the construction without taking into the consideration that there is the requirements in the PD [Presidential decree] 1586,” he said.

There is no official announcement yet as to when and where will the seminar be conducted.

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