Manila Bay cleanup continues amid COVID-19 pandemic

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has continued efforts to clean and restore the Central Luzon portion of the Manila Bay amid the COVID-19 health crisis.

Manila Bay Regional Focal Person Cynde Pagador said over 10,000 kilograms of mixed waste have been collected by DENR river patrollers in various water bodies since March as the entire region was placed under community quarantine. 

The wastes collected were brought to the Metro-Clark Sanitary Landfill in Capas, Tarlac for proper disposal.

“Our nearly 300 estero rangers or river patrollers have been critical in our efforts to clean Manila Bay and the rivers draining from it during this community quarantine period. They were tasked with monitoring up to 10 kilometers of water bodies daily to ensure that these were kept free of solid waste,” Pagador shared.

She said it is the commitment of DENR and the rest of the mandamus agencies to clean Manila Bay.

“Our estero rangers were also kept busy coordinating with local government units to ensure that the collection and segregation of solid waste within their areas of responsibility remained unhampered,” she furthered. 

Estero rangers also undertook tasks such as the installation of trash traps in water bodies, eco-bricking, as well as assisted in the distribution of relief goods to communities.

Minimum health standards including wearing of facemasks and social distancing were observed by those involved during cleanup activities to protect them from the virus.

Relative to this, DENR appealed to the public to dispose properly their waste, particularly those used facemasks.

“We encourage the public to reduce, reuse and recycle their waste during this community quarantine to minimize generation of solid waste and prevent dumping in rivers and oceans as most of the people are staying at home,” she added.

Of the 190-kilometer stretch of Manila Bay, 142 kilometers falls within Central Luzon, traversing the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga and Bataan. 

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