As the campaign on Manila Bay cleanup and rehabilitation went on full swing, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here staged the creativity and talents of students from 16 public elementary schools in Bataan in an on-the-spot watercolor painting contest that centered on upholding the importance of the environment and river systems, especially the Manila Bay.

Held on March 4 at Vista Mall in Balanga City, the competition dubbed as “Kulayan ang Manila Bay” aimed to solicit public support and to increase public awareness on ecological solid waste management and proper waste segregation, which were seen as key factors in bringing back the beauty of Manila Bay.

In his message, DENR provincial chief in Bataan Raul Mamac said youth participation played a significant role in conserving ecological integrity and making more people engaged in the mission towards a clean, healthy and garbage-free Manila Bay.

“Young as you are, we believe that you can ignite the spark towards ecological stewardship, and that your talents may encourage more youth to take part in winning our battle for a cleaner Manila Bay”, Mamac added.

Allen Buenvinida of Antonio G. Llamas Elementary School bested other participants, as he topped the competition, while Carl Eurie Buensuceso of Orani South Elementary School and Yuann Joshua Cabanilla of Mambog Elementary School won the second and third spots respectively.

Winners received cash prize and handmade trophies designed and created by Kapampangan local artist Jude Pangilinan, while other participating schools received certificates of appreciation from the DENR.

Aside from regular cleanup and social mobilization activities, said competition is among the lined-up events of the DENR in support to the Manila Bay cleanup and rehabilitation program.