DENR National Capital Region, through its South Field Office (SFO), removes water hyacinths clogging the Tipas River in Barangay Palingon-Tipas, Taguig City on Saturday, 28 August 2021.

SFO Chief Environmental Officer Bobby Tagapan led the clearing activity, participated by select personnel from the field office and Estero Rangers assigned to the waterway. They were able to remove 200 sacks of water hyacinths from the river.

Tipas River sits next to the nutrient-rich Laguna de Bay, a major source of water hyacinths plaguing several waterways in Metro Manila these days, most notably the Pasig-Marikina River.

The rapid proliferation of water hyacinths is a major environmental concern as they trap other floating debris and prevent the natural flow of water. This increases the risk of flooding apart from polluting rivers. Water hyacinths also pose a danger to public health as they create a microhabitat suitable for the breeding of many vectors of human diseases.

The clearing operation is part of efforts to clean esteros and rivers connected to Manila Bay. Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu directed the regional offices of DENR for the National Capital Region (NCR) and CALABARZON (Region 4A) to address the issue of water hyacinths reaching the shores of Manila Bay.