The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has given recognition to volunteers and partners who had significant contribution to the cleanup and rehabilitation of Manila Bay during the “Manila Bayani Awards” ceremony on June 14.

DENR Acting Secretary Jim O. Sampulna led the recognition of local government units (LGUs), private organizations, river rangers, and individuals in Metro Manila, Central Luzon and Southern Luzon for their active participation in the Manila Bay rehabilitation program.

Among those who received the Manila Bay Awards were former DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chair Danilo Lim, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla, Senator-elect and former Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, National Irrigation Administration Senior Deputy Administrator and former DENR Undersecretary Benny D. Antiporda, and environmental lawyer Antonio Oposa Jr.

Villar SIPAG Foundation, Wild Bird Club, Asian Terminal Inc., Brgy. 412 in Sampaloc, Manila, and environmental planner Jason Villeza were also recognized for their initiatives to install trash traps and organize cleanup drives, tree planting activities, and education campaigns in Metro Manila.

The “river rangers” of Bacoor City, Cavite City, and the municipalities of Naic, Kawit, and Noveleta in the province of Cavite, were recognized for their commitment to clear creeks, rivers, estuaries and other waterways of illegal structures to prevent pollutants from draining into the Manila Bay.

Completing the list of awardees were the LGUs of Balanga, Bataan; Marilao, Bulacan; Sasmuan, Pampanga; Palayan, Nueva Ecija; and Pampanga, as partners of DENR in its rehabilitation efforts in Central Luzon through cleanup drives and implementation of solid waste management initiatives.

Senator Cynthia Villar was also a special awardee for her support in the rehabilitation program and other environmental initiatives.

Sampulna also attributed the success of the Manila Bay rehabilitation program to the “strong will” of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to accomplish a monumental task.

“We would not have accomplished our task without the people and organizations who helped us as we journey along our rehabilitation and cleanup efforts. We have a lot of heroes amid all this,” Sampulna said during the awarding ceremony.

“We pay tribute to individuals, organizations, and offices from the government and private sectors for their hard work, commitment, and support in implementing the Manila Bay rehabilitation program,” he added.

The first Manila Bayani Awards was held during the launch of the Manila Bay’s beach nourishment program in September 2020. ###