Pampanga joins ‘Battle for Manila Bay’

GUAGUA, Pampanga — About 700 individuals from the government and private sector took part in the official launching of the long-term rehabilitation of Manila Bay in Barangay Sta. Filomena in Guagua.

In his message, Mayor Dante Torres assured the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of the town’s continuous support and effort to clean its rivers until such time that the coliform level will be acceptable.

“Since 2013 when I assumed the position as local chief executive, our first marching order is really coastal and waterways cleanup. Here in Guagua, every day is cleanup day. You can really see the effort of the municipality. In fact, we have our own battlecry #ilogko #irogko wawa,” he said.

Aside from cleanup drives, Torres said they will focus on the residential areas near the riverbanks.

“We will talk to the residents near the river and urge those whose septic tanks flow directly to the bodies of water to have them transferred. We also encourage them not to throw their trash in the river,” he said.

The local chief executive added that he already coordinated with the provincial government and talked to the market vendors regarding the implementation of the septage ordinance in the market.

For his part, Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office Head Carlito Nicdao said behavioral change and discipline are key factors to successfully win the “Battle for Manila Bay”.

“Through our continuous cleanup, we have already cleaned about 80-90 percent of the surface. We need to focus our efforts now in cleaning what is beyond the surface. Based on the garbage being collected by our garbage trolls, we are estimating that we have already cleaned about 50-60% beyond the surface,” he added.

A total of 30 boats were used for the activity; 27 were intended for the cleanup while 3 were used to plant 150 mangroves.

Guagua, Pampanga is one of the five sites for the simultaneous cleanup and mangrove planting along with Obando, Bulacan; Mariveles, Bataan, Bacoor, Cavite; and Metro Manila.

In Pampanga, aside from Guagua, Department of the Interior and Local Government also directed the coastal towns of Sasmuan, Lubao and Macabebe to join in the simultaneous clean up activity.

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