Over 1,000 ‘estero rangers’ tapped for Manila Bay clean-up project

Marje Pelayo

MANILA, Philippines – A total of 1,100 ‘estero rangers’ were sworn into duty by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu on Sunday (November 17).

They will be deployed to different barangays across Metro Manila to facilitate the estero clean-up project in relation to the ongoing rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

Cimatu believes that by mobilizing these ‘estero rangers,’ irresponsible waste disposal will be prevented as they are going to police their respective communities.

At present, there are around 65,000 families living along more than 200 esteros in Metro Manila and sadly, Cimatu said, they are in the habit of dumping garbage in esteros where these trash extract contaminants that flow straight to Manila Bay polluting its waters.

“Gusto namin mismo doon sa lugar na pinagtatapunan, mayroon tayong linya doon, (We want to have an eye or a line of communication from the areas where they dispose their garbage),” Cimatu said.

“Kayo ang napili. Kayo ang nai-rekomenda ng inyong local government unit especially your barangay (You were chosen. You were recommended by your local government units especially your barangays),” he added addressing the estero rangers.

Local chief executives were asked to identify and recommend two residents from each barangay to become estero rangers.

They are tasked to supervise the cleaning of esteros in their area for six weeks.

“Gusto namin talagang makatulong dahil nga talagang sobrang dumi na talaga (We really want to help because the esteros are so polluted),” noted estero ranger, Adelaida Hermies from San Juan City.

“Personally, ang nakikita ko ang mga residente talaga kulang talaga sa disiplina, (Personally from what I have observed, the residents really lack discipline),” she added.

The project is part of the ongoing rehabilitation of Manila Bay launched by DENR in cooperation with concerned government agencies, the LGUs and the private sector. – MNP (with details from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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