Clean-up and planting of trees to rehabilitate Maulawin-Maahas Creek in Los Baños, Manila Bay

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Clean-up and planting of trees to rehabilitate Maulawin-Maahas Creek in Los Baños, Manila Bay


No less than 70 volunteers trooped to Maulawin-Maahas Creek in Los Baños, Laguna to clear the waterways from debris--including plastic discards—and to plant indigenous forest trees and fruit bearing trees to stabilize its streambank on Thursday, November 21, 2013.

Officials and residents of barangays Maahas and San Antonio, and the office of the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) of the municipality of Los Baños, and selected students of Laguna State Polytechnic University (LSPU) beefed-up the group from the DENR Region 4A CALABARZON’s Coastal and Marine Management Division (CMMD) and the DENR-Laguna provincial office in collecting some 50 sacks-full of various household wastes such as disposable diapers, food wrappers, clothing, bottles and bicycle tires.

Dr. Domingo R. Bravo, Deputy Site Manager of the Manila Bay Coordinating Office-Site Management Office 4 (MBCO-SMO4), concurrently chief of the of CMMD, stressed the importance of the activity as not just a simple clean up to benefit the residents of the the two barangays of San Antonio and Maahas, but for all the barangays along the entire stretch of the river, along the Laguna de Bay, and Manila Bay.

“Ang pananatili ng kalusugan ng sapang ito ay sa kabutihan ng lahat. Ang mga sapa at ilog mula sa Laguna, Rizal at Cavite, ay patungo sa Manila Bay. Ang ating paglinis natin ngayon, at paninigurong walang makarating na dumi doon ay siguradong para sa kabutihan din ng Manila Bay,” Dr. Bravo said. He stressed that with its source or headwaters in Mount Makiling, the Maulawin-Maahas creek flow down to Laguna Lake, then to Pasig River, and eventually, into Manila Bay. “Kailangan nating panatiliing malinis and sapa. Kailangan din nating alagaan ang mga mga pampang at nang hindi maagnas, at maiwasan ang pagguho ng lupa,” he said.

He emphasized that regular clean up be done, that even simply not dumping of waste into the creek, and encouraging neighbors to do the same, will go a long way. He also requested the barangay officials to take care of the trees—with emphasis on the fruit bearing trees—to let them grow, hold on to the soil and bear fruits.

DENR-Laguna office has targeted to rehabilitate the streambanks of the 10-km stretch of the Maulawin-Maahas Creek, from its headwaters in Mount Makiling to its mouth in Laguna de Bay. It allotted 500,000 seedlings of indigenous species for forest trees such as narra, bitaog, camachile, banaba and fruit bearing trees such as rambutan, guayabano and langka to be planted on both sides of the creek.

Laguna Provincial ENR Officer Dr. Isidro Mercado, who represented DENR Calabarzon Regional Executive Director Reynulfo A. Juan, said, “Maliit man itong ating gagawing paglilinis at pagtatanim ng puno ngayon, subalit kapag ito ay pinagsama-sama natin, makatutulong ito nang malaki.”

As he appreciated the support of the LGU, and the youth who participated in the tree planting and clean-up, he requested residents along the creek to help maintain the planted seedlings and help them grow into robust trees.

Mercado, affirmed what Dr. Bravo said, “Sa inyo nakasalalay ang pagpapanatiling malinis ng sapa ng Maulawin at Maahas. Pagtulungan natin ito. Sa inyo din nakasalalay ang paglaki at paglago ng ating mga naitanim. Hindi lamang tayo ang makikinabang dito kungdi ang ating mga anak at apo. At hindi lamang tayo dito sa barangay ng San Antonio at Maahas, hindi lamang sa Los Baños at mga taga Laguna de Bay, kung di maging sa Manila Bay.” (Marrah Bernadette Gealon, Information Officer)