The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) recently held a thanksgiving event to acknowledge the efforts of estero rangers, as well as partners from the government sector, civil society and DENR field offices for their continuous support to rehabilitate Manila Bay.

The appreciation event held last July 14 was initiated by Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, citing the invaluable contributions of "environmental frontliners" of the Manila Bay rehabilitation project.

"I commend all the estero rangers and partners for your unwavering sacrifices and hard work to clean up Manila Bay. I truly appreciate your efforts which resulted in the success of our program," Cimatu said.

Seventy-three estero rangers of the DENR-National Capital Region's (NCR) West Field Office (WFO) attended the event and cleanup activity at the beach area of the Manila Baywalk.

The activity was organized by the DENR-Strategic Communication and Initiatives Service led by Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units Concerns Benny D. Antiporda.

Present during the event were representatives from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Department of Public Services-Manila, Career Executive Service Board, and DENR personnel from the NCR-WFO, Manila Bay Coordinating Office (MBCO), and Task Force Tayo ang Kalikasan.

The said event is just one of the thanksgiving activities lined up by the DENR for its partners involved in the rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

"The arduous task to bring back the glory of Manila Bay is a collective effort, and I’m truly grateful to our partners for remaining steadfast in our work. This rehabilitation will not only be beneficial to us but for the next generations," Cimatu said.

Data from the MBCO revealed that a total of 14,701.60 cubic meters of solid waste have been collected by DENR and MMDA from January to March 2021.

The retrieval of garbage was done through various cleanup activities in Manila Bay and connecting waterways and rivers with the use of trash traps, trash boats, and collection done by volunteers and estero rangers.

In preparation for the southwest monsoon or "habagat" season in the country, DENR-NCR Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan has deployed 50 estero rangers in the Manila Baywalk area and 10 marshals.

They have so far retrieved 5,131 sacks of solid waste and 408 wood and bamboo poles from June 23 to July 14.

A total of 587 estero rangers are also currently deployed by the DENR-NCR WFO in the cities of Manila, San Juan, Pasay, Mandaluyong, and Makati.

Based on the DENR's monitoring, eight out of the nine monitoring stations along the Manila Baywalk have registered lower fecal coliform levels.

The most significant decrease was noted in Padre Faura Station with a fecal coliform level of 7.61 million in 2019 to 3,300 in March 2021. ###