NAMRIA officials and employees led by Administrator, Usec. Peter N. Tiangco, PhD, participated in the activities to celebrate the first anniversary of the Battle for Manila Bay at Baseco Beach, Tondo, Manila on 26 January 2020. The other NAMRIA officials in attendance included Deputy Administrator Jose C. Cabanayan, Jr., Hydrography Branch (HB) Officer in Charge Director, Cdr. Antonio G. Valenzuela, Jr., Mapping and Geodesy Branch (MGB) Director Ruel DM. Belen, Resource Data Analysis Branch (RDAB) Director Rijaldia N. Santos, Geospatial Information System Management Branch (GISMB) Director John Santiago F. Fabic, and Chief of Staff Rowena E. Bongalos. There were also representatives from the Manila Bay mandamus agencies, select local government units, nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, and the private sector.
The commemorative program was led by Senator Cynthia A. Villar, Senate Committe Chairperson on Environment and Natural Resources, and DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu. Supreme Court Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta and United States (US) ambassador to the Philippines Sung Yong Kim graced the program with their presence.
The celebration commenced with the actual cleanup of Baseco Beach. All five NAMRIA branches participated in the daily cleanup activities held at Baseco and surrounding areas of Manila Bay on 15-18 January 2020. The cleanup activities were for maintaining cleanliness and sustaining the momentum of the rehabilitation.
The NAMRIA Branches and their assigned cleanup dates were…
… RDAB on 15 January 2020 led by Director Santos … -- VENER QUINTIN C. TAGUBA, JR.
… HB on 16 January 2020 led by Deputy Administrator Efren P. Carandang
with HB OIC-Director Commander Valenzuela, Jr. … -- ERLITO P. SABEROLA
… MGB on 17 January 2020 led by Director Belen … -- JEFFREY M. AGUILLON
… SSB and GISMB on 18 January 2020 led by Deputy Administrator Cabanayan, Jr. . -- VENER QUINTIN C. TAGUBA, JR.
Secretary Cimatu, in his anniversary message, extended his appreciation to all the mandamus agencies for their continuous efforts in meeting the goals of the rehabilitation program. He mentioned that a sewage treatment plant adjacent to Manila Bay was installed earlier. He encouraged everyone to continue supporting the advocacy, saying, “Ang pagbalik ng Manila Bay sa dati niyang linis at ganda ay hindi imposible. Ituloy po natin ang laban.”
DENR Secretary Cimatu delivers the anniversary message. -- ANDY NICOLAS G. ADEVA
Senator Villar stressed the importance of rehabilitating Manila Bay as it serves as the lifeline of Metro Manila and seven nearby provinces, affecting 187 local government units with 13.9 million Filipino households. Senator Villar also recognized the persistent efforts of the Department of Health in building seven million toilets for Metro Manila households. She cited open defecation from informal settler families as one of the major problems contributing to the rising coliform levels in the Manila Bay waters. In closing, she encouraged the barangay officials and residents of Baseco to continually participate and support all government programs to address the problems.
Senator Villar gives her inspirational message. -- ANDY NICOLAS G. ADEVA
Chief Justice Peralta, in his keynote speech, pointed out that the right to a clean environment is one of the highest rights of every Filipino who also has the duty to protect the environment. He mentioned that the Writ of Continuing Mandamus issued by the Supreme Court was necessary to compel government agencies to perform its bounded duty to protect the environment. He further mentioned that, for the first time, both the executive and legislative branches of government are working hand in hand to rehabilitate Manila Bay. He acknowledged the initial results of the program, saying, “I’m really impressed with what I saw in Manila Bay. Malinis at talagang walang amoy.” His wife, Court of Appeals Associate Justice Fernanda C. Lampas-Peralta, also attended the event.
Those on the stage are, from left to right: DILG Usec. Epimaco V. Densing, Brgy. 649 Baseco Chairperson Diana E. Espinosa,
Supreme Court Associate Justice Rodil V. Zalameda, DA Sec. William D. Dar,
Court of Appeals Associate Justice Fernanda C. Lampas-Peralta, Supreme Court Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta,
DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, Senator Cynthia A. Villar, MMDA Chairman Danilo D. Lim,
BSWM OIC Director Sonia M. Salguero, PCG Admiral George V. Ursabia Jr., DOT Asec. Maria Rica C. Bueno,
PNP-Maritme Group General R'win S. Pagkalinawan, and DENR Usec. Rodolfo C. Garcia -- ANDY NICOLAS G. ADEVA
Administrator Tiangco with NAMRIA officials and employees pose for a group photo before start of the program.
-- ERLITO P. SABEROLA
US Ambassador to the Philippines Ambassador Sung Yong Kim with his colleagues from the US Embassy are shown
during the actual cleanup. -- ERWIN D. FAMATIGA
NAMRIA officials and employees pose for another group photo before the cleanup. -- ERLITO P. SABEROLA
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