Effective 'used water' management and reviving rivers and waterways

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Effective 'used water' management and reviving rivers and waterways

TOKATOKA 9-Sept-15

Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region 4A CALABARZON Regional Director Reynulfo A. Juan (left) and Laguna AAA Water Corporation General Manager Melvin John M. Tan (center) listen to Fernando Busuego III, head of the Branding and Market Research Department of Manila Water Company, Inc., discuss the salient features of 'TOKA TOKA' or 'the first and only environmental movement in the Philippines on 'used water' management' and its effects on the country's rivers and waterways during the formal reaffirmation of the partnership between DENR, Manila Water and Laguna Water to push for the Toka Toka in rites held at the DENR Regional Office in Calamba City on September 9, 2015.

Busuego explained that TOKA means 'stake' and T in TOKA means 'Talakayan at edukasyon patungkol sa nagamit nang tubig;' O for 'Organisadong basurahan for solid waste segregation;' K for 'Koneksyon sa sewer line;' and A for 'Aktibong pagpapa-desludge ng poso negro tuwing ikalimang taon.'

The Toka Toka partnership called for a joint conduct of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaign in the provinces of Laguna and Rizal, which include setting up of public message billboards, Lakbayan or bringing the message of used water management to the communities, tree planting to rehabilitate forests and spruce up the aquifers and joint waterways clean-up.

Tan said that his company and their joint venture partner--the province of Laguna, are grateful for the DENR's trust and support to the activity and assured corresponding support while he revealed," As we do business, we ensure protection of the environment. This is embedded in the Laguna Water's mission statement."

He also revealed that their operations now cover the whole of Laguna, stating off from Cabuyao and Binan. He also said that if their operations will expand further to other provinces of Batangas, Cavite and Quezon, they will support a similar activity.

DENR Calabarzon chief Juan expressed appreciation for the efforts of Manila and Laguna Water in helping the environment department in its task to help make our region a better place to live in. He recalled an incident when he participated in a coastal clean-up activity in (Bacoor) Cavite portion of Manila Bay and got frustrated.

"The DENR and partners exerted great effort to collect the garbage in the area, but the community nearby just looked on,' he lamented, "We start educating our people, and it should start at home. It is important that we educate our children, our household help to practice waste segregation and proper waste disposal.'

"Waste management, including human waste, is everybody's responsibility. Toka natin ito," he stressed, "We should not dump our wastes into rivers. Ang ilog ay hindi basurahan. Ang Manila Bay o ang Laguna Bay ay hindi basurahan."

He hoped the efforts with Manila Water and Laguna Water will bear fruit. He said, "Inaasam ko na sana abutin ko pa ang panahon na malinis na ang mga ilog, at makakalangoy sa Manila Bay nang walang takot na magkasakit.