Earth Day 2011 brings together 33 barangays to save Diliman Creek
Today's (April 19) advanced celebration of Earth Day at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City, saw the unity of local leaders of 33 barangays traversing Diliman Creek and its tributaries, as well as officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Quezon City government and non-government organizations to save the creek and improve its deteriorated state.
DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje, who led the signing of the memorandum of agreement, said the partnership will strengthen the rehabilitation of Diliman Creek, which is one of the major tributaries of Pasig River.
“Maintaining clean waterways is a collective priority. The first MoA we signed for Diliman Creek was with the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association, and this time we are strengthening the participation of the barangays surrounding the creek to prevent garbage from clogging the waterway and floating these downstream,” Paje said.
Other signatories to the MOA were Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA) President Louie Sarmiento, and Sagip Ilog Pilipinas Movement Executive Director Myrna Jimenez. Serving as witnesses in the signing were local officials of the 33 barangays, DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Director Juan Miguel Cuna, EMB-National Capital Region Director Roberto Sheen, and Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) General Manager Rodrigo Cabrera.
Part of the strategy to ensure the minimization of garbage that are dumped in Diliman Creek is the simultaneous clean up of Diliman Creek and its tributaries by 33 barangays traversing it every fourth Sunday of the month. This will start on April 24.
In preparation for the upcoming clean up, PMSEA will distribute cleaning implements such as gloves, shovels, and other cleaning materials to each of the 33 barangays.
The undertaking forms part of the “Adopt-an-Estero Program” which encourages the private sector, national and local governments and the civil society to extend support in cleaning up waterways in urban centers.
Under the MoA, the parties will undertake expanded environmental improvement of Diliman Creek as well as conduct information and education campaigns, community mobilization activities, and trainings for concerned stakeholders in support of the program.
For its part, the DENR, through LLDA and EMB, will intensify the monitoring of industrial and commercial establishments, and undertake, among others, regular water quality monitoring and provide the necessary technical assistance to concerned leaders and stakeholder groups in the area.
In addition, the concerned parties also agreed to determine the necessity of, and to the extent possible, plan for more dredging and de-silting of the creek, introduction of interventions such as phyto-remediation through constructed wetlands, planting of bamboo and other plant species along the river banks, rip-rapping or coco-matting, construction and greening of linear parks.
To date, a total of 58 MoAs have been signed with various private companies nationwide to help revive water bodies in different portions of the country.