Loads of trash remains on the shores of Tanza beach in Navotas City after the cleanup conducted by the DENR National Capital Region’s Coastal Resources and Foreshore Management Section (CRFMS) on Saturday, 19 September 2020 in celebration of the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) 2020.

The CRFMS team was joined by Bakawan Warriors of the Navotas Marine Tree Park (NMTP) and they were was able to collect around 30 sacks of trash washed by waves on the beach. The majority of the trash, according to CRFMS OIC Chief Justin de Ramos, comes from inland sources as the NMTP is surrounded by streams and river outlets (e.g., Tangos and Batasan River in Navotas City, and the Meycauyan-Marilao-Obando River System in Bulacan), not to mention that it sits directly on the path of the south-west monsoon or habagat.

Trash coming from the rivers and esteros of Metro Manila and neighboring regions enter Manila Bay throughout the year. But when habagat season starts, strong winds push the trash back to the shores. This partly explains the more than 10-inches thick layer of trash that covers the shores of the NMTP, one of the remaining natural beaches of the region.

“All the trash that we see in the NMTP come from our houses”, Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan explained. “The trash could not have come from the NMTP itself as the area, unlike Baseco, is uninhabited. The layers of trash that we see, therefore, could have only come from us”, she added.

“As our Secretary, Hon. Roy A. Cimatu, has repeatedly said, what we need to clean Manila Bay and our environment is ‘behavior change’, as no amount of cleanups by the government and other concerned organizations from the private and civil society sector, would be enough. We need to resolve the issue at its source, and that is our homes and the unsustainable lifestyle that we practice”, Director Caancan advised.