The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) has launched the ‘Adopt an Estero’ Program in Butuan City.
Hundreds of volunteers from the local government, Philippine National Police (PNP), DENR, EMB, and students cleaned up the Ambangan creek in Butuan City.
This is a part of the ‘Adopt and Estero’ or Waterbody program which encourages residents to take care of the waterways in their area especially those that connect to Manila Bay.
A clean-up was already held in Ambanga creek a month ago but the creek was again filled with garbage.
The DENR admits the difficulty in resolving the root problem especially when residents continue to throw their trash into the waterway.
“Record sa EMB galing, marami mga barangay pa o kadalasan sa barangay hindi nag mamantina o nag-operate ng tinatawag na MRF [Materials Recycling Facility] (It came from EMB’s records, a lot of barangays are not using or maintaining their MRF). We are planning to provide it to the DILG for assistance,” Atty. Alex Alicer said, the Regional Executive Director of DENR Caraga.
Alicer said barangays should manage and maintain their MRFs especially in the collection of waste in their respective areas.
Houses should also have their own compost pit in compliance with Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management act of 2002. This will ease the waste collection and it will prioritize the collection of recyclable materials.
“Naniniwala ako kung operational o functional ang ating MRF na i-establish sa every barangay, siguro masasabi natin na mga less than 20% nalang ang mapupunta doon sa ating mga estero, (I believe if the MRFs established in barangays are operational maybe we can say only 20% of the waste will end up in waterways)” Alicer added.
Volunteers in the adoption of Ambangan creek vows to continue maintaining the cleanliness of the waterway.
Barangay Captain of Ambago, Butuan city Kap. Jun Rosal said he will apprehend residents who will throw trash in the waterway.
“Sa ngayon na ako na ang nakaupo sa barangay Ambago. Wala akong pinapatawad, basta makita ko huhulihin ko talaga, (As long as I am seated in barangay Ambago, I will be strict and will apprehend violators)” he said.
Meanwhile, grade 7 student Christine Arbiol said she wants to encourage others to join the campaign.
“Makatulong ng paglilinis dito at mahikayat rin ang mga tao dito ba na maglinis sila sa paligid, (I will help in cleaning and encourage others to also clean the environment)“ she said.
Ambangan creek is nine kilometers long and it serves as drainage of waste water in Butuan City.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Raymond Octobre)
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