PH gov’t tells metro LGUs: Impose strict guidelines on estero clean-up
Robie de Guzman • March 18, 2019 • 2358
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)
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the local government of Pateros on Thursday (August 8) have joined forces in conducting clearing operations in the whole municipality.
Authorities confiscated illegal vending structures, signages, and made-up kiosks along the sidewalks.
Pateros mayor Ike Ponce said they have given instructions to barangay officials to maintain the roads as obstruction-free.
The LGU has also formed an eagle squad or motorcycle-riding traffic law enforcers to conduct daily roaming in the streets to ensure that there are no obstructions.
The municipal office is also looking into approving ordinances that will increase the penalties for those who will cause obstructions in the streets.
The Pateros LGU is confident that they will be able to meet the 60-day deadline set by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to clear the roads within the municipality. (details from Joan Nano) /mbmf
The 60-day deadline imposed by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for mayors to clear Metro Manila roads begins today (July 29, 2019).
The DILG has released the memorandum order for the 17 Metro Manila mayors to conduct road clearing operations in their respective cities.
Based on the memorandum, the road clearing operations include removal of illegally parked vehicles and street vendors.
Mayors who are unable to follow the memorandum order will face a two-month preventive suspension.
The DILG is yet to decide how long the suspension will last if a mayor was proven to have negligence in following the said memorandum. He will also face administrative charges.
The department also encourages the public to report, through their hotline: 925-0343, local officials who are not doing their duties.
Meanwhile, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año assures aid for those who will lose their jobs during road clearing operations.
“Mauuna muna ang pagsunod ng batas at iyong mga maapektuhan titingnan natin kung ano ang pwedeng maibigay na assistance, (Following the law should come first. For the affected parties, we will see what kind of assistance we can provide),” he said.—AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)
SINGAPORE – A pair of Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) received a warm welcome from staff at Jurong Bird Park, their home for the next 10 years.
On May 20 this year, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) signed a loan agreement with the Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) in a move to save the species from extinction.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) this year included the Philippine Eagle in its endangered list of wildlife as there are some 180 to 500 mature eagles remaining in the country.
The eagle pair, named “Geothermica” and “Sambisig”, are recognized as ambassadors for Philippine biodiversity, according to Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.
“Geothermica” and “Sambisig now join the close to 3,500 birds being taken cared of at Jurong Bird Park, the largest bird park in Asia.
The sanctuary houses around 400 bird species, of which 20 percent is threatened.
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