Manila Bay cleanup continues despite risks of Covid-19

CLEAN UP. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has continued efforts to clean and restore the Central Luzon portion of the Manila Bay amid the Covid-19 health crisis. (Photo courtesy of DENR)

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here has continued the efforts to clean and restore the historic Manila Bay in Central Luzon amid the dangers of Covid-19, an environment official said.

Cynde Pagador, Manila Bay regional focal person, said over 10,000 kilograms of mixed waste have been collected by DENR river patrollers in various water bodies in the region since March of this year when the community quarantine was first implemented in the entire Luzon.

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 in the region have been critical in our efforts to clean Manila Bay and the rivers draining from it during this quarantine period," she explained.

She added that the river patrollers were tasked with monitoring up to ten kilometers of water bodies daily to ensure that these were kept free of solid waste.

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

“Our estero rangers were also kept busy coordinating with the local government units to ensure that the collection and segregation of solid waste within their areas of responsibility remained unhampered, even though the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said.

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, Pagador said.

Minimum health standard practices such as wearing of facemasks and social distancing were observed by those involved during cleanup activities to protect them from the virus.

The DENR appealed to the public to dispose of properly their waste, particularly those used facemasks, to prevent the spread of the virus.

“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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