DENR ties up with N. Ecija village Leaders in environmental protection

By Zorayda Tecson

GAPAN CITY, Nueva Ecija — The Department of Environment and National Resources (DENR) Central Luzon regional office has partnered with the Liga ng mga Barangay in Nueva Ecija to engage local communities in proper solid waste management and river protection.

Donaver Guevarra, DENR regional information officer said local leaders from 89 villages in Cabanatuan City took part in a series of environmental education lectures aimed to raise public awareness and knowledge on important and pressing environmental issues, and solicit support for environmental protection and conservation.

Guevarra said the massive information drive is critical in the ongoing cleanup and rehabilitation of Manila Bay since Nueva Ecija is the upstream portion of the 260-kilometer Pampanga River that drains into the bay.

“Waste disposal, especially single-use plastic handling remains a challenging part of the cleanup of Manila Bay.  Educating people on proper waste segregation, the importance of our river system, and its connectivity to Manila Bay are important, so that household wastes may be prevented from reaching waterways and river systems,” he said in an official social media post.

Guevarra said the Association of Barangay Captains in Cabanatuan City led by its president Christopher Lee, has vowed to support the DENR program and will intensify their solid waste management efforts including river cleanup.

Amid the pandemic and strict quarantine measures, Guevarra said the DENR will continue to conduct information, education, and communication (IEC) activities among local leaders about their roles in promoting and implementing ecological solid waste management and river protection, especially during this habagat (southwest monsoon) season when garbage is often washed away in the river system and other waterways.

The DENR-Region 3 office conducted environmental education lecture last month in 15 barangays in Mariveles town and Balanga City in Bataan; Capas and Bamban towns in Tarlac; Masinloc town in Zambales; and Sasmuan town in Pampanga, participated in by over 400 barangay officials, health workers and members of people’s organizations.

“Providing the public as well as the leaders of our local governments with the right information and educating them on the value and importance of our environment especially our rivers and mangrove ecosystems including environmental laws are important ways to help save our environment,” Guevarra said.

He said caring for the environment starts from understanding, and local government are at the forefront of keeping a balanced and sustainable ecosystem to make a community protected and resilient against disasters and calamities.

The environmental topics discussed during the lecture series include the protection of mangroves, tips to become plastic-free, ecological solid waste management, the importance of the river systems, and the Manila Bay cleanup and rehabilitation.

This year, the DENR-3 has already conducted 37 environmental education lectures using a blended approach of online platforms and face-to-face interaction participated in by more than 1,200 local government leaders and members of peoples’ organizations in Central Luzon. (PNA)