The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) CALABARZON and the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of Rizal conducted a river clean-up activity at Lakeside Eco-Park, Brgy. San Vicente, Angono, Rizal on September 17, 2021, in celebration of the International Coastal Clean-up (ICC) Day observed every third Sunday of September of each year. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Understand and Beat Marine Pollution”.

Led by DENR CALABARZON Regional Executive Director Nilo B. Tamoria, a total of 46 personnel from the regional and provincial department participated in the activity. Rizal PENRO Ramil R. Limpiada, PENRO Technical Services Division Chief Ernesto M. Diso, Jr., and Manila Bay Site Coordinating and Management Office (MBSCMO) - Rizal Site Coordinator Marilyn B. Paunil also graced the event. The barangay government headed by Hon. Domingo P. Perez and the local River Rangers also joined.

The volunteers collected a total of 615 kg water hyacinth and 75 kg assorted waste composed of straw, plastic cups, plastic bottles, plastic bag, diaper and styrofoam. The collected wastes were hauled by the Municipal garbage collectors for proper disposal.

MBSCMO-Rizal staff, Jenesis P. Erana said Angono River is one of the major river systems connected to Laguna Lake where water hyacinth are observed. Per recent assessment made by the DENR National Capital Region, the water hyacinth proliferating in Laguna Lake and its tributaries eventually float towards the Napindan Channel, Pasig River, and Manila Bay.

Early in August 2021, Environment Secretary Roy A.Cimatu ordered the immediate removal and control of water hyacinth in Manila Bay area. “Part of phases of the operational plan (for the Manila Bay Rehabilitation Program) is to clean the baywalk from garbage. When garbage continue to flow, hindi talaga masa-satisfy ang standard. We must prevent at all cost the entry of garbage to baywalk,” Cimatu said while referring to the recent garbage issues in Manila Bay, particularly, the flow of water hyacinth from Laguna and Rizal, and bamboo poles from illegal aquaculture structures in Cavite, towards the Bay.

DENR CALABARZON encourages the public to join the regional department in its advocacy to rehabilitate Manila Bay and the coastal areas of the region by regularly conducting clean-ups within and outside their respective homes and by exercising ecological solid waste management practices such as waste segregation-at-source, proper waste disposal, composting of biodegradable waste, and recycling.###