By the Philippine News Agency
Residents along major waterways in the metropolis have been urged to become environment-conscious by not throwing trash into creeks and rivers to help fast-track the cleanup of Manila Bay and its tributaries.
During the cleanup of the Maytunas Creek in San Juan City’s Barangay Addition Hills, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Assistant Secretary Joselin Marcus Fragada said preventing the throwing of trash in waterways would significantly reduce the blanket of trash in creeks, which would make it easier to clean up Manila Bay.
The Maytunas Creek flows into San Juan River, a major tributary of Pasig River, which flows into Manila Bay. Trash that make it into the river can be swept out into the bay.
“Many factors are contributing to San Juan River’s problems but one thing that can help right away is for us, as individuals, to be conscious about not throwing trash there,” Fragada said on Sunday during a program in San Juan City’s Barangay Addition Hills where the DENR spearheaded the cleanup of the Maytunas Creek.
The Maytunas, Ermitanyo, Mariblo, Diliman, Dario and Culiat creeks are tributaries of the 10.58-km. long San Juan River, which flows through the cities of Quezon, San Juan, Manila, and Mandaluyong.
The Maytunas Creek cleanup was among the activities that kicked off the Metro Manila-wide “Battle for Rivers and Esteros” simultaneous cleanup of Manila Bay’s tributaries.
Fragada said one of the major pollutants of Manila Bay are wastes from its tributaries.
He said cleaning up tributaries is part of efforts to rehabilitate Manila Bay. To boost rehabilitation efforts for Manila Bay, he said, the interior department has already ordered barangay local government units to undertake a weekly cleanup of waterways in their respective areas of jurisdiction.
“We made a pledge today as individuals to become conscious of the environment,” Fragada said. “Tarpaulins we gave to barangays earlier are only signs we want cleanliness in San Juan River and Manila Bay. Try placing these tarpaulins in strategic places. Create consciousness.”
Making people environment-conscious is essential to the success of Manila Bay’s cleanup and rehabilitation. “River cleanup is a long process, so let’s start here,” he added.