Five local government units (LGUs) in Central Luzon received the Manila BAYani Awards from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in recognition of their significant efforts and contribution in the cleanup and rehabilitation of the Manila Bay.
 
DENR Acting Secretary Jim Sampulna, along with (from left) Atty. Antonio Oposa, Jr., former environment czar Roy Cimatu, Senator Cynthia Villar, and Palawan 3rd District Representative Edward Hagedorn, personally handed the certificates of recognition to the city governments of Balanga, Bataan and Palayan, Nueva Ecija; municipalities of Sasmuan, Pampanga and Marilao, Bulacan; and the Environment and Natural Resources Office of the Provincial Government of Pampanga.
 
In his message, Sampulna lauded the efforts of LGUs that exerted diligent effort to help the DENR in the massive cleanup of major river systems and tributaries in the Manila Bay.
 
“Congratulations to all the awardees. With your relentless support, we will ultimately win this battle for Manila Bay,” Sampulna said.
 
The Manila BAYani Awards aims to recognize LGUs, groups and individuals that have shown exemplary and innovative strategies in the implementation of the Manila Bay cleanup and rehabilitation program.
 
For his part, DENR Regional Executive Director Paquito Moreno, Jr. expressed his gratitude to partner LGUs for their continued support in the Manila Bay rehabilitation program that led to the success of several initiatives in the region, such as daily cleanup drives, grubbing, trash trap installation and establishment of toilet facilities.
 
“It is through our strategic partnership and collective efforts that we have been able to execute activities that brought significant contributions and progress in our rehabilitation efforts,” Moreno said.
 
In a related development, the DENR here will open this June the Cabcaben Linear Park in Mariveles, Bataan, and a toilet facility in Binuangan, Obando, Bulacan and Aguawan, Mariveles, Bataan.
 
Since the massive cleanup of the Manila Bay started in 2019, over 280,000 tons of wastes have been collected from more than 37,000 river and coastal cleanups in Bataan, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija and Tarlac. (-30-)