The 1,000 estero rangers have until Dec. 31 to “bring about change” in the estuaries and 700 barangays assigned to them, he said.
The STAR/Edd Gumban
‘Estero rangers’ given 6 weeks to clean up Metro Manila creeks
Rhodina Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - November 17, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — “Estero rangers” have six weeks to help improve the condition of Metro Manila’s creeks and tributaries, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said yesterday.

The 1,000 estero rangers have until Dec. 31 to “bring about change” in the estuaries and 700 barangays assigned to them, he said.

“You are the chosen ones, recommended by your respective local government units. You were trusted not only to clean the trash in the estuaries, but also to prohibit people from throwing trash in these areas,” Cimatu told the estero rangers.

He said the estero rangers would serve as the “communication link” between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the community in relation to the ongoing rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

“We want the communication links to be in the exact place where people dump their waste,” Cimatu pointed out.

The DENR chief said he expects the estero rangers to “bring about cultural change among those who live along esteros.” 

“The next generation will see better rivers and a better Manila Bay,” he said.

The DENR identified 279 waterways traversing 711 barangays in Metro Manila, where there are alleys not reached by garbage trucks. These alleys are mostly populated by informal settler families.

The agency said that two estero rangers will be initially deployed to each barangay, or a total of 1,422.

So far, 1,283 have signed contracts with the DENR and 1,142 of them attended the mass oath-taking and deployment ceremonies held at the Niñoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife in Quezon City on Friday.

The employment contract of each estero ranger runs from Nov. 15 to Dec. 31, after which the contract may be renewed every month.

Under the contract, an estero ranger gets a monthly salary of P8,500 on a five-day workweek schedule. A ranger is tasked to clean trash traps in esteros, prevent indiscriminate dumping of garbage and remind people about proper waste disposal.

ROY CIMATU
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