10 April 2012
Sen. Pia ‘adopts’ an estero
The rehabilitation of our rivers and esteros plays a key role in ensuring the sustainability of our cities and urban centers amid rapid urbanization and the threat of unhampered pollution to public health and the environment.
With this objective, Senator Pia Cayetano, the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) and the local government unit of Valenzuela City, joined hands recently to kick off the cleanup of Lingunan Creek, a major artery that links Tullahan River to various river systems in Valenzuela City and Meycauayan City in Bulacan, which all empty out to the Manila Bay.
A component of the ‘Adopt-an-Estero’ program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the cleanup of the creek was funded with the help of the senator who chairs the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Clean Water.
The program seeks to rehabilitate the creek, which runs through three barangays, from heavy siltation and pollution caused by years of irresponsible dumping of industrial and household waste. At the same time, the program will educate local residents on proper ways to care for the estero, including taking action against polluters and sustaining solid waste management systems in the community. The DENR program also encourages private companies to help out by initiating their own environment programs in the waterways they have chosen to adopt.
In the morning of March 26, a group of community volunteers and personnel from the Valenzuela City Public Order and Safety Management Office, in coordination with EMB representatives, undertook the task of rehabilitating a three-kilometer stretch of Lingunan Creek, starting in Barangay Canumay.
Using bancas to navigate the reeking, pitch-black waters of the winding estero, the group was able to fish out garbage and remove various obstructions blocking the creek’s flow. The collected waste materials were then brought to the creek side and stored in huge sacks for hauling.
Dredging and cleaning up its waterways has been a priority of Valenzuela, one of the low-lying areas located north of Metro Manila which experiences perennial flooding. The success of the program will require sustained coordination with residents, the private sector and concerned government agencies. #
Photo: Lingunan Creek cleanup in Valenzuela City