DENR National Capital Region, through its North Field Office (NFO) and Estero Rangers assigned in the area, led a series of cleanups at Catmon River in Malabon City together with members of the Philippine National Police (PNP), personnel from the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Malabon City, and officials of Barangay Catmon.

The weeklong cleanup drive (which started on August 31, 2021) was in response to reports that Catmon River was filled with floating debris and water hyacinths as a result of reckless dumping of waste either directly on the waterway or in nearby areas.

Catmon River is part of the Malabon-Navotas-Tullahan-Tinejeros (MANATUTI) River System, one of the 3 major river systems of Metro Manila. It is connected to the Tullahan River, Letre Creek, and Pinagsabugan Creek via Sucol River, all in Malabon City. It travels 1.76 kilometers long and is 50 meters in width at its widest section. The waterway drains Barangays Catmon, Niugan, and Tonsuya.

The team has so far removed a total of 1,038 sacks of solid waste from the river, composed mostly of discarded plastic and styropor bottles, debris, and water hyacinths.

Despite the daily cleanups, Catmon River remains clogged, prompting the NFO and its partners to continue their operations until the situation improves.

In line with this, Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan appealed to the public on proper waste disposal. She said efforts to clean Manila Bay and its tributaries like the Tullahan and Catmon River would be for nothing if waste reduction and segregation were not practiced at home.

“Studies conducted by the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) point to the fact that 56.7% of waste comes from residential areas”, Director Caancan revealed. “So we really need to manage our waste at home if we want to see our rivers and esteros clean, and bring Manila Bay back to its former glory”, she added. DENR is leading efforts to clean and rehabilitate Manila Bay.