The Pasig River Task Force (PRTF) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) distributed trash bins to barangay chairmen from six districts in the city of Manila last week in line with the continuing estero cleanup and rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

One (1) set of rolling trash bins were donated to each of the 243 barangays from Districts I, II, III, IV, V, and VI of Manila in line with the Pasig River Task Force Operational Plan. The barangays are located along the esteros that drain to Pasig River. The donation is the initial activity to increase awareness on waste segregation in line with the Materials Recovery System, Information Education and Communication and Barangay Solid Waste Management programs of the barangay. It supports the Secretary’s directive to mobilize the citizenry to participate in the rehabilitation and restoration of Manila Bay.

Each set consists of three bins labeled and color-coded for proper waste segregation – red for metal, green for paper, and yellow for plastic – which would serve as a constant reminder for the residents of barangays along the esteros on the importance of waste segregation.

In his message, DENR Undersecretary and Manila Bay Task Force Ground Commander Juan Miguel T. Cuna called on the barangay chairs to continuously support the DENR’s ongoing program for Manila Bay.

For his part, DENR Undersecretary Benny D. Antiporda said the success of the trash bin project will need the cooperation of the barangay chairs.

“Your genuine concern to help clean the environment should come from your inner desire to be part of the success of this project, and not from the fear of getting sanctions because you have not performed your mandate,” said Antiporda.

DENR Assistant Secretary for Policy, Planning and Foreign-Assisted Projects Corazon C. Davis led the six-day event held on January 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 and February 3, with DENR National Capital Region (DENR-NCR), and the Department of Public Services (DPS) of Manila.

“We count on every barangay chair to be the prime movers, to lead their constituents in the war against garbage,” Davis said. She added that the DENR is always ready to assist the local communities in addressing this issue.

The barangay chiefs were also told of the importance of setting a good example to their constituents.

“It is your role to inform the public that proper waste segregation and disposal are critical to the success of this initiative,” added Davis.

In addition, Atty. Alvin Constantino of the DENR National Capital Region West Field Office emphasized that the use of the color-coded bins adheres to Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

The Manila DPS headed by Mr. Kenneth Amurao assured the DENR that it will monitor and supervise the barangays on the use of the trash bins, and will continue to partner with the DENR in its activities for the Battle for Manila Bay. ###