Metro Manila in the midst of âgarbage crisis,â DENR chief says
Trash washed up on the shore in Manila Bay as heavy monsoon rains poured and caused floods in Metro Manila.
The STAR/KJ Rosales, File
Metro Manila in the midst of ‘garbage crisis,’ DENR chief says
Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - December 5, 2019 - 6:48pm

MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila—home to nearly 13 million people—is facing a “garbage crisis,” Environment chief Roy Cimatu said Thursday.

Cimatu said the Philippine capital’s problem with solid waste is one of the primary issues that the government must address immediately.

“We are now in the middle of a garbage crisis,” he said in a forum organized by Stratbase group.

Data from DENR showed the waste generated in Metro Manila in the first half of 2019—pegged at over 66,000 cubic meters—has already surpassed the year’s target of 58,112.31 cubic meters.

“If we continue to act only for our independent interests, continue to spoil our water bodies and fail to responsibly manage our wastes, we will not be able to sustain our efforts on this campaign,” Cimatu said.

He added: “We and the following generations will all suffer the consequences if we do not change the way we behave as an organization and as individuals.”

Manila Bay rehabilitation

DENR is currently rehabilitating the heavily-polluted Manila Bay and other waterways in the capital region and nearby areas connected to it.

“Hindi naso-solve ‘yung garbage by cleaning it right in that area (Manila Bay). So we have to clean it talaga from the source,” Cimatu said.

(The garbage problem is not really resolved by cleaning it right in that area (Manila Bay). So we really have to clean it from the source.)

Early this month, the agency deployed 1,142 “estero rangers” who are tasked with cleaning the esteros and tributaries draining into Manila Bay and to prevent indiscriminate dumping of garbage in waterways.

An order laying out guidelines for pilot waste-to-energy facilities for municipal solid waste has been signed, Cimatu also said.

DENR will also prioritize the cleanup of San Juan river—described by Cimatu as the “dirtiest” waterway in Metro Manila—in January 2020.

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