DON’T rely on government to keep your waterways clean. Do your share as responsible citizens in caring for the environment.
This was the message of the Quezon City government when it spearheaded a clean-up drive along the rivers of Tullahan, Marikina, Dario and San Juan—all of which traverse the city.
Its Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department (EPWMD) conducted the clean-up on June 28 and 30 as part of the city government’s participation in the Philippine Environment Month.
”The city government of Quezon City through the EPWMD is continuously coordinating with villages and communities. We are undertaking information and education campaigns, orientations and seminars to involve the communities. We need to help each other. We all have an obligation to clean the waterways,” said Jonjon Espaldon, EPWMD special operations section assistant head, in Filipino.
Quezon City enacted an ordinance prohibiting the throwing of garbage in rivers and creeks. City Ordinance 1506-2005 amended ordinance 6305-65 prohibiting the throwing of any kind of garbage, waste matter, or refuse in any drainage outlet such as rivers, creeks, or any of its tributaries.
”No matter what system we enforce, if the attitude of people won’t change, then there won’t be change. Our fiercest enemy is the behavior of people,” Espaldon said in Filipino.
To further solve the problem of clogged waterways, the local government under the administration of Mayor Herbert Bautista has relocated families living near rivers and creeks.
“According to the writ of mandamus of the Supreme Court, minor rivers and canals should be three meters away from houses from the linear part and 10 meters for major rivers. This is why the relocation you see is the implementation of the writ of mandamus. The city government’s relocation program is ongoing,” Espaldon said in Filipino.
In a resolution by the Supreme Court en banc in the case of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources vs Concerned Residents of Manila Bay represented by Divina Ilas et al., (GR Nos. 171947-48), the High Tribunal upheld the decision of the regional trial court that ordered the concerned government agencies to clean-up and rehabilitate Manila Bay and as such could be compelled with a writ of mandamus.
The MMDA, as the lead agency and implementor of programs and projects for flood control projects and drainage services in Metro Manila, in coordination with the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Interior and Local Government, affected local government units, Philippine National Police Maritime Group, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, and other agencies, shall dismantle and remove all structures, constructions, and other encroachments established or built in violation of Republic Act 7279 (The Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992), and other applicable laws along the Pasig-Marikina-San Juan rivers, Metro Manila (Parañaque-Zapote, Las Piñas) rivers, the Navotas-Malabon-Tullahan-Tenejeros rivers, and connecting waterways and esteros in metropolis.