Coastal Rangers under the West Field Office (WFO) of DENR National Capital Region gather and remove water hyacinths off the shores of Manila Bay in Malate, Manila on Friday, 3 September 2021.

Water hyacinths coming from the Pasig-Marikina-San Juan (PAMARISAN) River System and the Muntinlupa-Parañaque-Las Piñas-Zapote (MUNTIPARLASPIZAP) River System—both of which are connected to the Laguna Lake—are driven back to the shores of Manila Bay by southwest monsoon (habagat) winds. As heavy rains inland flush the water hyacinths from Laguna Lake out to Manila Bay, strong winds drive the aquatic plants—along with other trash and marine debris—back to the shores of the six coastal cities of the National Capital Region, namely, Las Piñas, Malabon, Manila, Navotas, Parañaque, and Pasay.

Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan has directed the four field offices of DENR National Capital Region to clear and prevent water hyacinths from reaching Manila Bay. “We are coordinating with the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the concerned local governments of Metro Manila, DENR CALABARZON, and other stakeholders as we need to approach the issue from a whole of government perspective”, Director Caancan said.

“The problem of water hyacinths, as with other forms of pollution, is not confined to a single locality, thus the need for a unified effort between government agencies and other concerned organizations to maximize all available resources—personnel, funding, research, and equipment and supplies in resolving it”, she added.