Manila Bay rehab relies heavily on barangay leaders
Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said he is counting on barangay leaders to do their share in the Manila Bay rehabilitation by cleaning up the esteros, rivers and tributaries that flow into the heavily polluted bay.
“It is the barangay captains who can solve the problem of Manila Bay,” Cimatu said during the recent meeting with executives of barangays within river systems that drain into Manila Bay.
“The cleanup of the bay rests on them. That is how much I trust them,” he added.
Leaders of more than 200 barangays surrounding the river systems of Pasig-Marikina-San Juan, Muntinlupa-Parañaque-Las Piñas-Zapote, and Malabon-Tullahan-Tinajeros were present during the dialogue held at Bayview Park Hotel in Manila recently.
Aside from Cimatu, the meeting was also attended by other officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
During the dialogue, Cimatu reminded the barangay officials of their duty to enforce environmental laws, particularly the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 and the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004.
Cimatu also enjoined the barangay leaders to take part in the simultaneous cleanup of esteros and rivers around Manila Bay scheduled on March 31.
“Once and for all, we will clear the waterways of garbage,” Cimatu said.
“If barangay captains can harness the power of the people to do it, then there will be a show of force to cleanup. Cleaning Manila Bay will be your most important mission as barangay captains,” he added.