MANILA, Philippines—To support environmental protection and strengthen multi-sectoral cooperation, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) participated in the initial cleanup of Manila Bay as part of the ongoing effort for its rehabilitation and preservation, dubbed as the “Battle for Manila Bay”.
The ATI is part of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Inter-Agency Task Force on the rehabilitation efforts for Manila Bay, spearheaded by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Some 40 ATI employees joined the kickoff activity to help fast track the restoration of Manila Bay and improve its water quality. The event was also held to further the campaign on proper solid waste management.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu stressed the need to bring back the culture of cleanliness and conservation among Filipinos. “Manila Bay is not a lost cause. With the commitment and determination of every individual to do his share in this rehabilitation, there is no doubt that we will win this battle,” he asserted.
DA Undersecretary for Operations Ariel Cayanan also graced the event and thanked the DA employees present for their support. He also stressed the importance of Manila Bay, and other bodies of water, to the agriculture sector.
More than 5,000 participants from public and non-government sectors assembled at the Quirino Grandstand for a Solidarity Walk to the Manila Bay prior to the clean-up proper. Participating agencies also pledged commitment to the restoration of the highly polluted waterway.
The “Battle for Manila Bay” is composed of three phases: clean-up/water quality improvement, rehabilitation and resettlement, as well as education and sustainment in accordance with its Operational Plan for 2017-2022.
Other agencies present in the activity were the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Department of Tourism, Department of Budget and Management, Department of Education, Department of Health, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine National Police-Maritime Group and Philippine Ports Authority.
The Manila Bay clean-up drive was held last January 27 in this city.