Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu expressed his gratitude to the thousands of volunteers who participated in the Manila Bay simultaneous clean-up activities in 23 municipalities in the province of Cavite on July 16, 2021.
Themed “Kalat Natin, sa Karagatan Huwag Paabutin” in support of the #BattleForManilaBay campaign of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the said clean-up activity was undertaken to mobilize the citizens of Cavite to do their share in cleaning up and rehabilitating Manila Bay.
DENR CALABARZON headed by Regional Executive Director Nilo B. Tamoria, and DENR Cavite led by Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Ronita A. Unlayao, spearheaded the clean-up activities in Noveleta, Cavite and Cavite City. Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and LGU Concerns and Cavite Cluster Task Force Head, Benny Antiporda and Undersecretary for Environment and International Environmental Affairs, Atty. Jonas Leones also graced the event.
“Ang araw na ito ay hudyat ng patuloy at patuloy na effort hindi lamang ng bayan ng Noveleta, hindi lamang ng lalawigan ng Cavite, kundi ng lahat ng bumubuo, ng nasasaklawan, ng Manila Bay sa Region IV-A, NCR at Region 3,” DENR CALABARZON headed by Regional Executive Director Nilo B. Tamoria said.
Leones, on the other hand, said the mandamus order to rehabilitate Manila Bay ends in Cavite. “Dito na po natin tatapusin ang order ng mandamus ng Supreme Court, dahil ‘pag nalinis po natin at nabigyan natin ng solusyon ang basura dito sa Cavite at nai-restore natin ang water quality ng katubigan ng Cavite, tapos na po ‘yung order ng Supreme Court,” he said.
Tamoria explained the connectedness of the waterbodies in Cavite with Manila Bay, as well as the importance of joint efforts among various stakeholders towards its rehabilitation. “Anuman pong basura ang itapon natin sa mga daluyang tubig that would end up sa karagatan ay yun din po ang basurang makikita natin sa bahagi ng Maynila. Kaya po ang effort natin dito ay hindi hiwalay. Sa kabuuang effort at bilang pagtugon sa atas ng kataas-taasang hukuman, atas ng ating ginagalang na pangulo, kaya po nandito tayong lahat,” he stated.
Five hundred sixty-five (565) delegates from Noveleta LGU headed by Municipal Mayor Dino Chua; Cavite City LGU led by City Mayor Bernardo Paredes; various Manila Bay mandamus agencies such as DENR, Philippine Coast Guard, Department of Education, Philippine National Police-Maritime Group, and Department of the Interior and Local Government; other government agencies such as National Housing Authority, PNP, Provincial Government Environment and Natural Resources Office, and Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Animal Industry; Lions Club District 301A2 headed by its District Governor Maria Jesusa Antiporda; Maynilad; Scuba Divers; 4Ps; Street Sweepers; and local volunteers from various barangays of Noveleta and Cavite City volunteered in the momentous activity. Other towns in Cavite also joined the clean-up activity and were featured via virtual teleconferencing namely, Alfonso, Amadeo, Bacoor City, Carmona, Dasmariñas City, GMA, General Trias City, GEA (Bailen), Kawit, Imus City, Indang, Maragondon, Magallanes, Mendez, Naic, Rosario, Silang, Ternate, Tanza and Trece Martires City. Heightened health protocols were observed during the activity to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
Leones enjoined the residents of Cavite to diligently practice solid waste management while emphasizing its huge impact towards Manila Bay’s rehabilitation. “Siguraduhin po natin na ang mga basurang made-generate natin ay ma-segregate natin at ma-dispose ng maayos para po ma-address natin itong polusyon sa Cavite, at once nagawa natin yan, makakatiyak po kayo na gaganda ang Manila Bay, gaganda ang coastal areas ng Cavite, pati doon sa Region 3, sa Pampanga, Bataan at Bulacan. Lahat po ng benepisyo na pwede nating makuha sa karagatang ito ay mapupunta sa komunidad,” he said.
Antiporda, on the other hand, stressed the importance of the regular clean-up activities being undertaken by the LGUs and the residents in the success of the Manila Bay Rehabilitation Program of the DENR. “Hindi po kami magtatagumpay kung wala kayo sa tabi namin. Hindi kami magtatagumpay kung kami maglilinis dito minsan sa isang buwan pero pagbalik namin, sangkatutak na naman. Magiging matagumpay lang po ang DENR o ang national government kung ang local government po kasama ang mga kababayan natin dito na maglinis at kung maaari, oras-oras, araw-araw, gabi-gabi,” he said.
“Bakit po tayo maglilinis? Hindi po tayo maglilinis para mawala yung basura. Maglilinis po tayo para malinisan natin ang sarili nating budhi at sabihin po sa ating sarili na hindi na ako magkakalat, dahil ako rin ang maglilinis,” Antiporda added.
About 70 thousand kilograms of waste were collected during the said activity, 48% of which were biodegradable, 17% non-biodegradable, and 35% residual waste. Per information from DENR-PENRO Cavite, it was observed that the number of local volunteers participating in the department’s environmental campaigns such as this clean-up, increased.
DENR CALABARZON encourages the public to be part of the #BattleForManila Bay by simply practicing segregation-at-source and proper waste disposal. ###