Photo Releases

DENR-NCR Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan inspects the water outfalls of Manila Bay in Pasay and Paranaque City on Thursday, 27 August 2020. She was accompanied by Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services, Engr. Ignacio R. Almira, Jr., Conservation and Development Chief Aida E. Esguerra, and South Field Office (SFO) Deputy Chief Environment Officer Bobby Tagapan.

Director Caancan and the team first inspected the entire stretch of Libertad Channel and its connecting waterway in Pasay City and then moved on to the shorelines of Manila Bay in Barangay Dongalo, Paranaque City. The last location inspected is at the Las Pinas-Paranaque Wetland Park (LPPWP).

Director Caancan visited the waterways to assess and strategize how to safely conduct cleanup activities with DENR National Capital Region partner organizations like the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (DPWH), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and the city governments of Pasay, Paranaque, and Las Pinas.

“Doing cleanup and maintenance activities has become a challenge with the pandemic”, Director Caancan admitted, “but we have to strive now more than ever in doing cleanups as disease-causing germs and viruses thrive in a dirty environment.”

The top regional official also called on the public to properly dispose of the surgical masks and gloves they use to protect themselves against COVID-19. “The risks posed to the health of our cleanup workers are high enough already when they go down our rivers and coasts to retrieve improperly disposed waste”, Director Caancan appealed. The surgical masks and gloves that end up in our waterways, she says, only adds to these risks.

Director Caancan also advised Metro Manilans to put household medical wastes in separate, labeled, bags to avoid cross-contamination. "Not only do we have to segregate biodegradable from recyclables and residuals, but special and hazardous wastes too." DENR is leading efforts to clean, rehabilitate, and make the waters of Manila Bay safe and compliant to "Class SB" Water Quality Standards.

DENR National Capital Region installed two (2) trash traps in Tamban Creek and Lapu-Lapu Extension Canal located in Caloocan City to complement efforts of the local government in keeping their waterways clean.

The trash traps were formally turned over to officials of Barangays 8, 12, and 16 of Caloocan City through a simple ceremony and signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) via video communications app.

The virtual MOA signing and turn-over ceremony were officiated by the Manila Bay Site Coordinating and Management Office (MBSCMO-NCR).

Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan signed the MOA on behalf of the DENR National Capital Region. Punong Barangay (PB) Honesto Gaton, PB Nazzer Baldoza, and PB Alfredo Dacles on the other hand, signed on behalf of Barangays 8, 12, and 16 respectively. DENR National Capital Region Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services Engr. Ignacio R. Almira, Jr., meanwhile, stood as witness to the MOA signing and Turnover Ceremonies.

According to Director Caancan, trash traps are simple engineering solutions to the problem of urban pollution. “Trash traps, as the name indicates, traps or captures trash from our drainage systems, preventing them from flowing out into open seas or, in our case, Manila Bay”, Director Caancan explained.

The installation of trash traps in strategic parts of a waterway is one of the interventions of the DENR National Capital Region to help reduce pollution in Manila Bay.

DENR National Capital Region’s North Field Office (NFO) immediately deployed and set their Estero Rangers into action as seen in this set of photos.  The photos show NFO Estero Rangers cleaning their assigned waterways in coordination with the barangay workers.

The subject esteros form part of the network of waterways that drain the entire Caloocan-Malabon-Navotas-Valenzuela (CAMANAVA) area, north of Metro Manila. Estero Rangers have been tasked with regularly monitoring the condition of the waterway under their care and to prevent trash found in the waterway from reaching Manila Bay.

DENR National Capital Region assigned Estero Rangers in different waterways in Metro Manila to regularly conduct cleanups in their assigned rivers or esteros and to assist in the conduct of Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) campaigns in their community on proper solid waste management and other environmental laws. The regional office makes sure to strictly observe health protocols for the Estero Rangers so their safety will not be compromised.

DENR-NCR Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan visited and checked on the status of Manila Bay on Thursday, 20 August 2020. She was accompanied by her Assistant Regional Directors Al O. Orolfo for Management Services and Engr. Ignacio R. Almira, Jr. for Technical Services. Atty. Alvin Constantino, Licenses, Patents, and Deeds Division Chief and concurrent Chief Environmental Officer of DENR-NCR West Field Office (WFO), and Ms. Haidee D. Pabalate, focal for the Manila Bay Site Coordinating/Management Office (MBSCMO-NCR).

Director Caancan inspected the entire stretch of the Manila baywalk area—starting from the US Embassy to the Manila Yacht Club—and including the back of the CCP Complex in Pasay City. She visited the area to verify reports of water hyacinths and other wastes slowly accumulating in the area. While her visit she confirmed the said reports—Director Caancan explains that the presence of trash in the area is partly due to the onset of the rainy season and southwest monsoon (hanging habagat).

Also, efforts to regularly clean the region’s coastal areas have been made difficult due to the on-going public health crisis affecting us. “As we can no longer do cleanups the way we did during pre-COVID times, we need to carefully redesign our strategy of cleaning our shores and adapt to the ‘new normal’ as we also need to ensure that we do not compromise the health of our workers while they are out in the field’, Director Caancan emphasized.

Despite the challenges, Director Caancan remains thankful that local government units (LGUs) have been active in doing cleanups in waterways within their respective jurisdictions. “We have even received reports about river and estero cleanups conducted by barangays and national government agencies even during GCQ”, Director Caancan added. She said that the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) have been strong partners of DENR in coastal cleanups.

In 2019, DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu launched the Manila Bay Rehabilitation Program, a multi-sectoral effort to clean and rehabilitate the Manila Bay in pursuant with the Writ of Continuing Mandamus issued by the Supreme Court.

DENR National Capital Region and the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) signed a Memorandum of Agreement on Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) Ambassadors on Wednesday, 19 August 2020.

The MOA was signed by DENR-NCR Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan and PUP President Manuel M. Muhi. Under the MOA, DENR National Capital Region and PUP agree to jointly train and develop selected students of the university as ENR Ambassadors. The selected ENR Ambassadors will assist DENR in its Information, Education and Communication (IEC) and advocacy campaigns on the protection, conservation, and sustainable use of the environment and natural resources of Metro Manila.

ENR ambassadors are expected to help educate their fellow students on various environmental issues affecting the region—e.g., pollution, resource degradation, and climate change, among others—and galvanize the support of the youth sector in the cleanup, rehabilitation, and protection of the Manila Bay.

In return, the DENR National Capital Region will provide the necessary assistance to the students for them to effectively function as ENR Ambassadors and help them with their studies at the same time. For starters, they will be receiving pocket LTE Wi-Fi which they can use in both their environmental education and advocacy work and academic studies.

DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste and Local Government Units Concerns Benny D. Antiporda, who was present to witness the event, handed over 100 units of pocket LTE Wi-Fi (with load) to PUP for distribution to students who would enlist as ENR Ambassadors. He also promised to provide smart tablets, along with the pocket Wi-Fi to deprived but deserving students of the university.

In his message, USec. Antiporda said that students need our help right now, especially in adjusting to the “new normal” in education. “At the same time, we need to harness their skills and transform them into effective environmental educators and champions”, he added, so that in the future, “hindi lang ang DENR ang kikilos para sa kalikasan, kundi buong bayan na [it is not only DENR who will work for the environment, but the whole country.]”

Regional Executive Director Caancan said that she is very excited and confident that the ENR Ambassador program will be successful, citing the interest and willingness of the youth to participate in the activities of the DENR National Capital Region. “The youth and student sector comprises the bulk of our volunteers whenever we organize cleanup and tree planting activities, so I’m very much sure that this program will grow and attract more young people as now we’ll have trained environmental educators coming from their ranks to lead them”, Director Caancan explained.

Regional Executive Director Caancan and PUP President Muhi acknowledged Usec. Antiporda for coming up with the program and choosing Metro Manila and PUP as a pilot area. USec. Antiporda was accompanied by Strategic Communication and Initiatives Service Director, Hiro V. Masuda; Task Force Tayo Ang Kalikasan Executive Director Maria Matilda A. Gaddi; and, DENR-NCR Assistant Regional Director for Management Services Al O. Orolfo. PUP top officials, on the other hand, came in full force as Executive Vice President Alberto C. Guillo; Vice President for Academic Affairs Emanuel C. de Guzman; Vice President for Student Affairs Zenaida R. Sarmiento; and Vice President for Research, Extension and Development Ana Ruby P. Gapasin took part in the activity. The heads of the Regional Public Affairs Office (RPAO) of DENR CALABARZON, DENR MIMAROPA, and DENR Bicol were also invited to witness the activity via video communications app. USec. Antiporda hopes to expand the ENR Ambassador program in other parts of the country.