Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has ordered officials and employees of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to conduct daily cleanup activities at Manila’s Baywalk area and Baseco beach as part of the ongoing rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

“I want DENR personnel to be out there, cleaning daily, and those with desk jobs to experience how it is to work in the field,” Cimatu told environment workers during his traditional “New Year’s Call” held at the DENR Central Office in Quezon City last Friday.

Cimatu’s directive was addressed particularly to those holding office at the DENR’s central and regional offices within the Manila Bay region, including bureaus and attached agencies.

The environment chief said he wanted the DENR personnel to become “more visible” in the Manila Bay rehabilitation this year.

“For the year 2020, I am confident that we will again prove to the Filipino people that indeed there is a Department that takes care of their environment and natural resources,” he stressed.

In line with Cimatu’s order, DENR Undersecretary for Priority Programs and Field Operations-Luzon and Manila Bay Task Force Ground Commander Juan Miguel Cuna issued a memo to the officials and employees assigned to conduct the daily cleanup drives for the first week covering the period January 6 to 10.

Based on the memo, 150 DENR workers will be deployed to the Baywalk and Baseco beach every day, except on January 9 when the annual procession of the Black Nazarene will be held.

Assistant Secretaries Ricardo Calderon and Corazon Davis will lead employees from the Forest Management Bureau (FMB) and Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) in the cleanup drive scheduled on January 6.

FMB and BMB workers are also assigned to clean the area on January 7. They will be supervised by Assistant Directors Armida Andres and Edna Nuestro.

On January 8, Cuna and Assistant Secretary Gilbert Gonzales will supervise the groups from FMB and the National Water Resources Board (NWRB).

Employees from the DENR Central Office and the Land Management Bureau will do the cleanup on January 10, with Assistant Secretary Joselin Marcus Fragada and NWRB Executive Director Sevillo David Jr. as supervising officials.

Meanwhile, Cimatu has directed the DENR-National Capital Region and its four field offices to plan for the succeeding weeks of the cleanup.

Cimatu, in his New Year’s Call, said he was banking on the “bottomless support” from all DENR officials and employees as they embark on a more challenging year in terms of restoring Manila Bay.

“We have done our best in 2019 with your support. I am confident that we will continue to do our best for this year,” he said.

Earlier, Cimatu said that much has been achieved since the Manila Bay rehabilitation kicked off in January last year, but more needs to be done to realize the ultimate goal of making it fit again for swimming and other forms of contact recreation.

With the rehabilitation now in full swing, Cimatu expressed hope the momentum of restoring Manila Bay to its former glory will be sustained in the coming years even as he assured the rehabilitation will remain a top priority of the government until 2022. ###