10 rivers cleaned up so far in Central Visayas
(The Freeman) - March 21, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Responding to the call to tidy up other bodies of water in the country after the Manila Bay cleanup, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-7 has initiated cleanup drive for at least 10 major rivers in the region, its top official said.

 

DENR-7 director Gilbert Gonzales said the cleanups are part of the agency’s ongoing Rivers for Life program.

In Central Visayas, three rivers each in Bohol, Negros Oriental, and Cebu and one in Siquijor have been cleaned up by more than 2,000 volunteers.

Apart from the initiative, several local government units have also spearheaded campaigns to clean their own rivers.

“Cleaning up the environment is a big challenge for everybody. It’s not only for the DENR, but to all the community of the sectors. I think it’s not only the government and DENR alone, we need the other sectors,” Gonzales told the crowd at yesterday’s forum to launch Rotary Club of Manila’s advocacy campaign to replicate the Manila Bay cleanup in Cebu.

Robert Bobby Joseph, president of the Rotary Club of Manila, said it is high time to ignite a movement to protect Cebu and its waters with the help of DENR, the Department of Interior and Local Government, LGUs, all the way down to the barangay level.

As part of this advocacy, Joseph said the rotary will be spearheading cleanliness drive for water bodies contaminated with human wastes from informal settlers, among others.

“Today, I would like to make it a point that this is only a challenge that the Rotary Club accepts and to spearhead this, we will always collaborate with the local government, DENR, and DILG,” he said.

“I do not like to see Cebu in this tourism: All of a sudden in one five-star resort, foreigners are swimming and seeing human wastes around them. This negative impact will be pressed on tourism and when that happens, you will see airlines cancelling flights because you will see no foreigners coming in,” he added.

The Rotarian took pride in the effect of the cleanup of the Manila Bay, which he said was initiated by their club.

“We would like to see 1,000-plus Rotary clubs having a program on the environment of the Philippines and they have to collaborate in their respective regions with DILG and DENR as to what we’re doing. What we’re doing today will be a model for the other provinces to follow,” Joseph said.

He added that an awareness program is important as well, particularly on the segregation of wastes.

“We can go on an educational program on segregation of wastes. We can even get donations for big waste bins for a certain barangay as a focus. And perhaps, what we can do if someone comes up with this waste bin that is acceptable, all rotary clubs will have to supply it,” he said. — Jahzeel Willow S. Coquico, USC Intern JMD (FREEMAN)

DENR MANILA BAY CLEANUP
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