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DENR, EMB launch ‘Adopt an Estero’ program in Butuan City

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, March 22nd, 2019

Courtesy : EMB Caraga FB page

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) has launched the ‘Adopt an Estero’ Program in Butuan City.

Hundreds of volunteers from the local government, Philippine National Police (PNP), DENR, EMB, and students cleaned up the Ambangan creek in Butuan City.

This is a part of the ‘Adopt and Estero’ or Waterbody program which encourages residents to take care of the waterways in their area especially those that connect to Manila Bay.

A clean-up was already held in Ambanga creek a month ago but the creek was again filled with garbage.

Courtesy : EMB Caraga FB page

The DENR admits the difficulty in resolving the root problem especially when residents continue to throw their trash into the waterway.

“Record sa EMB galing, marami mga barangay pa o kadalasan sa barangay hindi nag mamantina o nag-operate ng tinatawag na MRF [Materials Recycling Facility] (It came from EMB’s records, a lot of barangays are not using or maintaining their MRF). We are planning to provide it to the DILG for assistance,” Atty. Alex Alicer said, the Regional Executive Director of DENR Caraga.

Alicer said barangays should manage and maintain their MRFs especially in the collection of waste in their respective areas.

Houses should also have their own compost pit in compliance with Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management act of 2002. This will ease the waste collection and it will prioritize the collection of recyclable materials.

“Naniniwala ako kung operational o functional ang ating MRF na i-establish sa every barangay, siguro masasabi natin na mga less than 20% nalang ang mapupunta doon sa ating mga estero, (I believe if the MRFs established in barangays are operational maybe we can say only 20% of the waste will end up in waterways)” Alicer added.

Volunteers in the adoption of Ambangan creek vows to continue maintaining the cleanliness of the waterway.

Barangay Captain of Ambago, Butuan city Kap. Jun Rosal said he will apprehend residents who will throw trash in the waterway.

“Sa ngayon na ako na ang nakaupo sa barangay Ambago. Wala akong pinapatawad, basta makita ko huhulihin ko talaga, (As long as I am seated in barangay Ambago, I will be strict and will apprehend violators)” he said.

Meanwhile, grade 7 student Christine Arbiol said she wants to encourage others to join the campaign.

“Makatulong ng paglilinis dito at mahikayat rin ang mga tao dito ba na maglinis sila sa paligid, (I will help in cleaning and encourage others to also clean the environment) she said.

Ambangan creek is nine kilometers long and it serves as drainage of waste water in Butuan City.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Raymond Octobre)

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

by UNTV News   |   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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Barangay tanods in Butuan to receive P120k insurance benefits

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, March 28th, 2019

Tanod orientation program | Courtesy: BCPO-BCPS-I

Being a barangay tanod (village patrol) is no easy task, according to Carlos Gaquing.

These village patrols endure sleepless nights just to make sure residents in their area can be safe.

Gaquing is one of these village patrols in Butuan city. He said they continue to do their duty even when it is raining.

“Iyan lang umuulan minsan tapos nagko-conduct kami ng roving wala pang kapote, (Sometimes, we continue roving despite the rain. We don’t even have raincoats)” he adds.

These are the least of their worries. Village patrols also have to put their lives at risk to maintain peace and order.

Edgar Atienza has been working as a village patrol for only a year and he worries about the future of his family if something happens to him.

“Minsan may patalim kagaya ng itak. Iyong mag-riot, nagbabatuhan diyan, iyan ang isa naming problema, (Sometimes, they carry knives. They will start a riot or throw things. These are some of our problems),” he said.

Just recently, a city ordinance in Butuan City was approved. It aims to provide P120,000 insurance benefit for village patrols like Gaquing and Atienza.

According to Atty. Ehrnest John Sanchez, the P10,000 from their insurance will be used in case they sustained injuries.

“Iyang 10,000 diyan kung ma-injure sila. Ang P100,000 diyan in case of death, madisgrasya sila habang nagper-perform ng kanilang duty. Tapos kung sa panahon na ililibing sa panahon na halimbawa mamatay, may burial na P10,000 (The P10,000 will be in case they get injured. In case of death, or an accident while on duty, there’s the P100,000. The remaining P10,000 will be for the burial),” he said.

The local government aims to distribute other equipment for the patrols in 86 villages in the city.

There are currently 100,000 village patrols in Butuan city.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Raymond Octobre)

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PH gov’t tells metro LGUs: Impose strict guidelines on estero clean-up

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, March 18th, 2019

Estero de San Miguel

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday (March 18) told local officials in Metro Manila to implement strict guidelines on cleaning up all bodies of water draining into the Manila Bay.

This is part of the government’s ongoing efforts to rehabilitate Manila Bay and deal with the sources of its pollution.

In a meeting together with concerned government agencies, DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu challenged village chiefs to impose guidelines that would help in totally eliminating wastes in esteros and hasten Manila Bay’s rehabilitation.

This is ahead of DENR’s plan to simultaneously clean up more than 200 esteros in Metro Manila on March 31 in a bid to achieve the goal of bringing down the coliform level in all esteros to 100 most probable number (MPN) per 100 milliliters (mL).

The clean-up drive will cover Manila Bay tributaries traversing Quezon City, Valenzuela, Caloocan, Malabon and Navotas in Metro Manila.

Cimatu also reminded local government units (LGU) and villages surrounding the bay of their responsibilities in ensuring that wastes are properly collected and segregated, as well as the improvement of water quality within their jurisdictions, as stated in DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2019-09 released on January 24, 2019.

“Hindi lang basta-basta pabayaan mo na lang iyong garbage truck, kukuha iyong garbage, aalis din. Kailangang ma-implement din natin na wala nang maiiwan. Otherwise ‘pag naalis iyon, nagkalat-kalat, dumarating sa esteros iyong mga garbage,” Cimatu said.

The reminder follows a report that only 30 percent of the total number of concerned villages complied with the order and existing Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

“From now on, manghuli kayo ng nagtatapon ng basura sa kanal, estero, ilog, dalampasigan. Obligasyon ng barangay iyan. Obligasyon ng barangay na linisin ang kani-kanilang pamayanan,” DILG Undersecretary Martin Diño urged.

In its circular, the DILG directed 178 LGUs and 5,714 villages inside the Manila Bay Watershed Area to “fulfill their roles and responsibilities pursuant to environmental laws that contribute to the rehabilitation of Manila Bay.”

The agency cited in the memorandum Section 20 of the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004, which provides that LGUs shall share the responsibility in the management and improvement of water quality within their jurisdictions.

Similarly, the Local Government Code states that villages are required to do basic services, which include, but not limited to services and facilities related to hygiene and sanitation, beautification and solid waste collection.

The DILG also said in the same memorandum that LGUs and villages must organize clean up drives in their localities, including coastal areas and inland water systems, while encouraging participation from different stakeholders.

In a separate Memorandum 2019-07, LGUs and villages are also expected to partake in the drive to renew Manila Bay by conducting weekly clean-up drives in their communities and leading the eco-waste management in their respective areas.

The agency warned that failure to comply with the order may mete out administrative charges and suspension or dismissal from government service.

“Bakit hindi sila nag-conduct ng clean up sa utos ni (DILG) Sec. (Eduardo) Año or else magpa-file kami ng kaso sa Ombudsman laban sa kanila,” Diño said.

The government kicked off the Manila Bay Rehabilitation Program last January 27, 2019, which also includes the reforestation of mangrove areas in the Las Piñas-Parañaque critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area. – Robie de Guzman (with details from Mai Bermudez)

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