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DENR to start cleanup of Metro Manila esteros

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The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will hold a simultaneous cleanup of Metro Manila’s “esteros” and waterways flowing into Manila Bay at the end of the month.

During a dialogue between the DENR and Metro Manila barangay captains with jurisdiction over waterways on Monday, DENR Climate Change Service Officer-in-Charge, Director Elenida Basug, said the cleanup is set on March 31.

“The cleanup on Sunday (March 31) will highlight (the) ongoing rehabilitation of Manila Bay,” Basug said.

Cleaning up the waterways would mitigate the flow of solid waste and other pollutants into Manila Bay.

She said the DENR would record the volume of garbage gathered during the cleanup, the length of waterways cleaned, and the number of people who joined the activity, as various sectors are expected to join the cleanup.

The Tullahan River, one of the main tributaries that run through several cities, would be cleaned up as well. Murals will be painted along strategic points of the waterway.

“Through the murals, we want to raise awareness about (the) importanc of protecting Tullahan and other waterways,” Basug said, adding that artist and conservation advocate, AG Saño, would lead the painting activity.

Barangays along Tullahan River will also simultaneously sign respective agreements on cleanup duties and initiatives, she said.

“That would require present and future officials of those LGUs (local government units) to implement what the agreements say,” Basug said.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said holding the dialogue with Metro Manila barangay captains highlights the importance of cleaning waterways, noting that the “success or failure” of Manila Bay’s cleanup rests on barangay captains.

Cimatu challenged barangay captains to maintain the cleanliness of the waterways in their respective areas. (PNA)