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DENR National Capital Region through its West Field Office (WFO) and North Field Office (NFO), joined in the cleanup organized by the office of the DENR Undersectaries Atty. Jonas R. Leones and Benny D. Antiporda at Baywalk Area, Ermita, Manila on Saturday, 12 September 2020.

The regional contingent was led by Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan together with her Assistant Regional Directors, Al O. Orolfo for Management Services, Engr. Ignacio R. Almira for Technical Services), and Licenses, Patents, and Deeds Division (LPDD) Chief and concurrent WFO Chief Environmental Officer, Atty. Alvin Constantino.

The effort resulted in the recovery of 17 sacks of residual wastes from the shores of Manila Bay. The DENR is leading efforts to clean, rehabilitate, and make the waters of Manila Bay safe and fit for swimming and other recreational activities.

DENR National Capital Region through its West Field Office (WFO) partakes with the office of Assistant Secretary Daniel Darius M. Nicer and representatives from the DENR-Ecosystem Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) in the conduct of water flow study to determine the sources and direction of floating garbage along Baywalk area.

The Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) is the principal research and development (R & D) unit of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Its R & D and extension activities are focused on the five major ecosystems of the Philippines which include forests, upland farms, grassland, and degraded areas, coastal zone, and freshwater, and urban areas.

 

DENR National Capital Region conducted a webinar on safety induction of liquid and solid wastes on Wednesday, 9 September 2020.

The online learning activity was organized by the Manila Bay Site Coordinating/Management Office (MBSCMO) in line with the on-going implementation of the Manila Bay Rehabilitation Project. Representatives of Local Government Units (LGU) of Caloocan, Las Piñas, Makati, Mandaluyong, Manila, Malabon, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Parañaque, Pasay, Pasig, Pateros, Taguig, Valenzuela, and Quezon City attended the webinar.

Regional Executive Director Jaqueline A. Caancan welcomed the participants to the activity and reminded them of the importance of being aware of the risks in handling liquid and solid wastes, especially now as we are faced with the threat of COVID-19. The webinar, RED Caancan explained, was meant to inform them of the safety protocols they must observe to reduce their exposure to deadly viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens.

Engr. Jean Borromeo, Chief of the Environmental Monitoring and Enforcement Division of EMB National Capital Region served as the resource person for the learning event. Engr. Borromeo explained why it is a must to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when doing fieldwork and shared studies showing the presence of SARS-CoV-2—the virus that causes COVID-19—in wastewater and surface water.

“It is very important that we wear a complete set of PPE during fieldwork as we may be exposed to the virus via dust or contaminated wastewater and surface water”, Engr. Borromeo cautioned. Engr. Borromeo also discussed the proper disposal of used PPEs, focusing particularly on used disposable face masks that are now slowly becoming part of the waste stream.

Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan and Assistant Regional Director for Management Services Al O. Orolfo media guesting interview in UNTV’s Good Morning Kuya and Radyo Pilipinas COVID-19PH Radio program respectively on Tuesday, 8 September 2020, to start the campaign for the “Safe Oceans Start At Home” theme of the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) 2020.

Director Caancan and Assistant Director Orolfo discussed how different the 35th staging of the ICC in Metro Manila will be this year, with quarantine protocols in place. “There will be no mass gathering”, Director Caancan assured. “DENR National Capital Region will not invite volunteers this year. Instead, we will limit the participants of the ICC to our employees. We would also ensure that public health and safety protocols are observed during the cleanup.”

Previous celebrations of the ICC in Metro Manila have attracted thousands of volunteers. During the 2019 ICC celebrations for example, close to 12,000 volunteers—spread in six (6) cleanup sites in Metro Manila—participated in the cleanup.

Aside from the smaller number of participants, this year’s conduct of the ICC will also be different in another sense. According to Assistant Director Orolfo, the participants in the ICC will be using Ocean Conservancy’s Clean Swell mobile app in the conduct of the waste audit. “The conduct of a waste audit is what distinguishes the ICC from regular cleanups,” Assistant Director Orolfo explained. “During ICC, the waste collected from our waterways are sorted out, itemized, and recorded in the Trash Data Form provided. The results are then compiled and submitted to Ocean Conservancy, the US-based non-profit organization which started the ICC.”

The app—which is available for free download at Google Play and Apple Store—will replace the printed Trash Data Form, making it more convenient for volunteers as it allows them to submit their cleanup data directly to the online database of Ocean Conservancy. “We will go paperless this year”, Director Caancan emphasized.

The app also eliminates the need for cleanup coordinators, making it possible for volunteers to conduct mini-cleanups in their backyard or waterways near their homes. “You don’t need to go to Manila Bay to participate in the ICC, with Clean Swell, you can do cleanups, alone or in small groups, wherever you are in Metro Manila, and record your participation”, Director Caancan clarified.

Director Caancan also directed employees who work from home to do a cleanup in their backyard or community using the app. “We need to continuously affirm our commitment to the cleanup of Manila Bay and we can do this by starting at home, in keeping with our theme for the 2020 ICC”. The ICC will be held on September 19, 2020.

DENR National Capital Region through its South Field Office (SFO), resumes their cleanup on the shores of Barangay Don Galo in Paranaque City on Monday, 7 September 2020.

The team recovered 17 sacks of mixed waste from the effort. Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan directed the field offices to conduct daily cleanups along Manila Bay and remove trash washed ashore by habagat.

The DENR is leading efforts to clean, rehabilitate, and make the waters of Manila Bay safe and fit for swimming and other recreational activities.