DENR National Capital Region highlighted the efforts of Metro Manila LGUs in keeping their rivers and esteros clean and trash-free in the first-ever Gawad Taga-Ilog Awarding Ceremony held on Tuesday, 09 March 2021 at the BMB Amphitheater, Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center, in Quezon City.

The Lingunan Creek in Valenzuela City was declared the “most improved estero”, followed by Park Creek 22 in Brgy. Marikina Heights, Marikina City, and Bangkulasi River—which traverses Barangays Bangkulasi, NBBS-Dagat-Dagatan, and NBBS-Kaunlaran—in Navotas City.

Also, Lingunan Creek also emerged as the "People's Choice", after receiving more than 10,000 mixed reactions from the official Facebook page of the DENR National Capital Region. Barangay Lingunan received a Rajah Sulayman Trophy, P50,000 cash prize, Waste Collector Trike, Air Purifier, and a special gift from partner organizations of DENR National Capital Region. They also received an additional P20,000 for winning the People’s Choice Award.

Barangay Marikina Heights and the three barangays of Navotas City received P35,000 and P25,000, respectively, trophies, waste collector trikes, and air purifiers. Other LGUs recognized for their efforts are Makati, San Juan, Manila, Parañaque, Quezon, Muntinlupa, Mandaluyong, Pasig, Malabon, Caloocan, and Las Piñas. They all received Certificate of Special Citation from DENR National Capital Region, aside from waste collector trikes and air purifiers.

In her address to the guests and participants of the event, DENR National Capital Region Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan extended her gratitude to all the local executives of Metro Manila, including the barangay officials, who “made went the extra mile in their cleanup drive despite the challenges we are currently facing due to the pandemic.”

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, in his keynote message delivered by Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs Jonas Leones, vowed to "continue to providing assistance to all local government units in cleaning the rivers and other waterways." The Gawad Taga-Ilog Awards was made possible with the help and support of EMB National Capita Region,, International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) Foundation, Water Environment Association of the Philippines Inc., and Envirokonsult Equipment and Services, Inc.