A scavenger uses a make-shift raft to collect reusable plastic from a river of trash and other debris in Binondo, Manila on Wednesday, April 22, a day after a thunderstorm brought heavy rains in Metro Manila. GMA NEWS THE Department of Environment andNatural Resources (DENR) urged the public to stop throwing trash into waterwaysto address the growing problem of marine pollution. Together with Rotary InternationalDistrict 3780 and around 500 volunteers, undersecretaries Jonas Leones andAnaliza Rebuelta-Teh installed a trash trap made from plastic bottles andfishnet along Tullahan River in Novaliches. Cuna led the cleanup in Baseco, Tondo,Manila where some 6,000 volunteers were recorded. The DENR noted that following thenatural flow of water, pollution from the upstream—including the esteros—will only quickly replace thesolid waste removed from the coastal areas. Through the annual ICC, Ocean Conservatoryhopes to find solutions to threats in oceans and waterways around the world. (DENR) The environment chief neverthelessthanked all the volunteers and encouraged them to do daily cleanup activitiesand practice recycling and waste segregation to combat marine pollution. Aside from the Manila Bay coastline,cleanup activities were also held in esterosand waterways that drain into the pollution-challenged bay. The kind and number of garbage collectedfrom each site is recorded and weighed for submission to Ocean Conservatory, aWashington-based environmental group that spearheaded the first coastal cleanupin 1986. The group will validate the report and consolidate it with those fromother participating countries. “Maaaripo tayong gumawa ng cleanup taun-taonpero kung tuloy-tuloy ang pag-load natinng pollution sa ating mga katubigan,sayang ang hirap natin,” Cimatupointed out. “Angnais po namin ipabatid sa inyo, itongcleanup na ginagawa natin taun-taon aymaganda po ito, pero ang kailangannatin isaisip at isaulo ay dapat matigil ang paglalagay ng basura sa ating mgakatubigan,” Cimatu said in his message conveyed by DENR undersecretary andManila Bay Task Force ground commander Juan Miguel Cuna. During the ICC event, the DENR was joinedby volunteers from local government units, private organizations, industries,the academe and other stakeholders in cleaning up Manila Bay and itstributaries. Cimatu said that behavioral change amongFilipinos is needed to clean up Manila Bay and all other water bodies in thecountry. DENR undersecretary Benny Antiporda wasin Navotas Centennial Park where close to 3,000 volunteers showed up, while undersecretaryRodolfo Garcia was in Tumana, Marikina City, assistant secretary Marcial Amaro,Jr. in Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area, and EnvironmentalManagement Bureau director Metodio Turbella in Estero de Tripa de Galina in ParañaqueCity. According to DENR secretary Roy Cimatu,all cleanup efforts will be in vain if the public continue dumping trash out ofhabit. The appeal was made as the DENR ledanother successful cleanup of Manila Bay and its tributaries on Saturday lastweek during the local observance of the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) Day2019. For ICC Day 2019, top officials of theDENR were assigned to lead cleanup efforts in different water bodies in MetroManila as part of the rehabilitation programs “Battle for Manila Bay” and“Battle for Rivers and Esteros.” Thousands turned up in various cleanupsites around Manila Bay region for this year’s ICC event dubbed as “Battle forTrash-Free Manila Bay.” Last February, President Rodrigo Duterteissued Administrative Order Number 16 designating Cimatu as chair of theinter-agency Manila Bay Task Force, with the secretaries of the Department ofTourism and the Department of the Interior and Local Government as vicechairpersons.