A total of 10 esteros in Manila, five creeks in Quezon City, Las Piñas, and Caloocan, two creeks each in Pasay and Mandaluyong, a river in San Juan City, a creek in Taguig, and the Estero de Tripa de Gallina were cleared of garbage and other debris by community volunteers and local government personnel in a nationwide campaign initiated by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Saturday, Sept. 16.
The cities of Mandaluyong, Pasig, and San Juan took part in the simultaneous nationwide clean-up drive called the Barangay at Kalinisan Day (BarKaDa) which aimed to involve barangays in the regular conduct of community-based environmental programs, primarily the cleaning and maintenance of waterways like esteros and creeks, and promote solid waste disposal and management.
The event also gave way to community gardening projects, anti-dengue activities, and other environmental projects.
It was enacted through DILG memorandum Circular 2023-133, which calls on local government units (LGUs) to approve of ordinances and resolutions declaring at least one day of the week wherein BarKaDa is implemented in the city's barangays.
The initiative was also launched to celebrate International Coastal Clean-up Day, and the start of National Clean-up Week.
The local government officials, volunteers, residents, local police officers, and personnel from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) collected trash including plastic bottles, plastic bags, and styrofoam from streets, roads, and other public spaces; as well as dredged clogged creeks.
In Mandaluyong City, the waterways that were cleared of garbage were Maytunas Creek in Barangay Addition Hills, Maysilo Bridge, and Buhangin Creek in Barangay Hulo.
Former Councilor lawyer Che Che Pablo-Santos, DILG Mandaluyong Director Patrick Megia, City Health Department Head Dr. Arnold Abalos, and Addition Hills Barangay Captain Carlito Cernal led the clean-up drive in their city.
Meanwhile, around 40 community volunteers, Barangay Dela Paz officials, members of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Committee (BESWMC), and the Asa Philippines Foundation joined forces to clean areas in Pasig City.
It was conducted at the Hakbangan Creek, its surrounding areas, and within the Octagon Phase III Subdivision.
Around 35 sacks of garbage were collected including garden and solid waste, dried leaves, toiletries, and mud clay.
Other members of the Barangay Peace and Order Council (BPOC) of Barangay Ugong, along with Clean and Green cleared the Pasig City River Park.
The BFP-Pasig also conducted operations at the Parian Creek in Barangay Pinagbuhatan.
DILG San Juan Director Engr. Perla Upano and DILG Local Government Operations Officer (LGOO) Maricor Dayandante headed the program implementation at the San Juan River.
BarKaDa was formally launched in Tondo, Manila on Saturday by DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos.
Other cities that joined the BarKaDa launch were Quezon City, Manila, Caloocan, Malabon, Muntinlupa, Taguig, Las Piñas, and Pasay in the National Capital Region (NCR).
Around 233 jail officers of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology-National Capital Region (BJMP-NCR), also conducted clean-up activities in their areas.
The local governments of Ilocos Norte, Dinagat Islands, Iloilo City, Pangasinan, and Antique also participated in the clean-up drive