by Czarina Bettina Lupig
Barangay Lalakay actively complies with the memorandum of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to local government units about participation in the Manila Bay Rehabilitation program by conducting weekly cleanup drives in their respective areas.
Every Sunday, officials and residents of Barangay Lalakay come together to clean up the canals, waterways, rivers and creeks in their vicinity.
DILG Memorandum circular 2019-09 aims to keep the waterways leading to the Manila Bay clean. Dated January 27 this year, it mandates local governments to comply with President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to start cleaning the Manila Bay.
“Nagsisimula ang clean up (drive) ng 6 AM hanggang 9 AM. Usually by 8:30 tapos na maglinis at hinahakot na ang mga basura,” baranagay secretary Celestine Ganadeza said. (Translation: The clean-up drive starts at 6 am and lasts until 9 am. By 8:30 AM we are usually done with the cleaning and all there is left to do is to collect the garbage.)
Ganadeza added that each barangay councilor is assigned a purok to head and tasked to coordinate with the purok leader.
She further said that the volunteers proceed directly to the designated area for cleaning. She said, “Hindi na kami nag-a-assembly dito (barangay hall). May mga malalayo kasi na purok kaya di na sila para pumunta pa dito. Dun na sila mag-a-assembly sa area nila.” (We don’t assemble here at the barangay hall because there are puroks that are far from here. They will just assemble in their area).
Barangay officials makes sure to document the activity and the scene before, during, and after the cleaning up. They also send detailed reports to the DILG office, together with the proof of attendance of the barangay officials and volunteers that participated.
Barangay Chair Gaudencio Macatangay said that he encourages residents to participate in the weekly cleanup drive through informing them about the dangers of having a polluted area.
“Ipapaunawa ko sa kanila ang mga evil effects ng hindi paglilinis ng kapaligiran at ng waterways.” (Translation: I inform the residents about the bad effects of not keeping their surroundings and waterways clean.)
He also said that there is no formal requirements needed and that anyone can join the clean up drive.
Macatangay added that they have been doing the weekly cleanup drive way before the DILG memorandum. The barangay implements an ordinance passed on March 2, 2009 requiring residents to keep their immediate surroundings clean through what it called “Tapat Mo, Linis Mo” program.
Earlier this year the Department of Interior and Local Government, together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, ordered local government units to participate in the Manila Bay Rehabilitation Program. Through this order, barangays along the Manila Bay Watershed area organize weekly cleanup drives.