MARIVELES, Bataan — The launching of the rehabilitation of Manila Bay, dubbed as “Battle for Manila Bay” in Bataan province was a success, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Monday said.
Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Raul Mamac said more than 1,600 volunteered and joined the cleanup in Lucanin, one of the seaside villages in this town.
The participants from government agencies and the private sector carrying shovels, brooms, empty sacks and other cleaning materials trooped to the shoreline and collected garbage of various forms.
Mamac said not all the garbage collected came from Bataan.
Manila Bay has a shoreline of 192 kilometers spanning Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Cavite and Bataan. More than 40 kilometers of the shoreline is in Bataan.
Bataan (2nd District) Rep. Jose Enrique Garcia III said the wastes come from the different provinces and towns surrounding the bay.
“Siguro galing yan sa iba’t ibang probinsiya at sa mga bayan na nakapaligid sa Manila Bay kaya mahalaga na sama-sama kasi hindi kaya ng iisang bayan (It might have come from the different provinces and towns surrounding the Manila Bay. Thus, it is important that we are together because it cannot be done by one town alone),” Garcia said.
He said they would look into reports by some fishermen, who informed him of an incidence involving a barge that unloaded garbage into the Manila Bay.
Fisherman Aniano Emberso, 59, said wastes along the shoreline of Bataan did not come from the province alone, as he welcomed the government’s cleanup of Manila Bay.
“Nasalubong ko isang gabi ang isang barge na akay-akay ng tugboat. Akala ko dumadaan lang, yon pala basura ang ibinubuhos sa dagat (I encountered one night a barge which was being pulled by a tugboat. I thought it was just passing by but it poured wastes into the sea),” he said.
“Napakaganda. Ang isda maliligtas sa basura (it is wonderful… the fish will be saved from wastes),” he added.
On January 27, volunteers from the province participated in the solidarity walk and later joined other participants in separate launching centers in Bulacan, Pampanga and Cavite in the signing of pledge of commitment.
Mariveles Mayor Ace Jello Concepcion provided dump trucks for the hauling of the garbage collected during the kick-off activity.
Ernie Esconde / PNA – northboundasia.com