Cleaning Manila Bay

August 19, 2020

DESPITE the crippling coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Filipino people still support the ongoing rehabilitation of the heavily-polluted but historic and sun-kissed Manila Bay.

The Duterte administration should be commended for initiating the gigantic undertaking, which monuments government efforts to encourage more foreign tourists to visit the country.

In the past, hordes of foreign and local tourists, many of them young lovers, flocked to Roxas Boulevard in Manila just to watch the world-famous and breath-taking “Sunset at Manila Bay.”

“Pero sa paglipas ng panahon ay ginawa itong malaking tapunan ng ibat-ibangklase ng basura, kabilang na ang mga plastik,” lamented a long-time resident of the Walled City of Intramuros.

It is no wonder, therefore, that a top official of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is all praises for the highly-successful “Aling Tindera” program.

DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management Benny Antiporda said the program is a joint project of the DENR-National Capital Region office and the Plastic Credit Exchange (PCEx).

A former newsman, Antiporda described the “Aling  Tindera” program as very timely as it augments government efforts to rehabilitate the ancient Manila Bay amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

PCEx, a non-profit organization founded by philanthropist and entrepreneur Nanette Medved-Po, buys plastic wastes from sari-sari stores, where fishermen purchase their food and other essentials.

DENR-NCR Executive Director Jacqueline Caancan said the “Aling Tindera” program is designed to promote qualified “sari-sari” stores as waste-to-cash collection centers at the barangay level.”

The program, which incentivizes the collection of plastic wastes from Manila Bay,is an innovative approach to address the problem of plastic wastes in Metro Manila, according to Director Caancan.

Now that the DENR-NCR and PCEx have launched “Aling Tindera” program, it will be up to the public to support the campaign to clean and rehabilitate sun-kissed Manila Bay.