Press Release
September 21, 2020

Villar cites growing number of volunteers, partners in Manila Bay clean up drive

Sen. Cynthia Villar said the growing number of volunteers and partner organizations that take part in the clean-up and mangrove planting activities should be credited for the strides made in the Manila Bay rehabilitation campaign.

Villar, chairperson of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, made this statement as the International Day of Coastal Cleanup was observed over the weekend.

Villar said almost 12 years after the issuance of the Supreme Court mandamus compelling government agencies and local government units to clean up and rehabilitate Manila Bay, "we still have a long way to go before we restore the bay to its pristine condition."

"Natutuwa ako dahil mas marami na tayo ngayong volunteers and partners sa ating clean up and mangrove planting activities in Manila Bay. Marami sa kanila ang hindi tumitigil sa paglilinis kahit may pandemya," Villar said.

Five years ago, Villar started a project in Baseco Compound. Together with the Department of Health, she initiated a project that will build toilet facilities for the residents and address the problem of open defecation in the area.

She also built livelihood projects such as mangrove planting, urban garden, recycling, and aquaculture. Baseco residents are now benefitting from these projects as a source of food or as a source of additional income.

The lady senator also continues to be at the forefront of the fight against Manila Bay reclamation. The Las Pinas-Paranaque Wetland Park, a 175-hectare critical area situated south of Manila Bay, is a Wetland of International Importance that was accorded protection against the threat of reclamation through the Villar-authored Republic Act 11038 or the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System Act.

Also in a bid to increase awareness on the importance of this wetland as a sanctuary of migratory birds and haven of flora and fauna, Villar helped build facilities in the area such as a wetland center, visitor's center, bird hides, boardwalk, and view towers, for the convenience of people looking to enjoy the wonders of this park.

"Ang rehabilitasyon ng Manila Bay ay hindi lamang para sa beautification. Napakaimportante na ma-preserve and biodiversity dito dahil maraming kabuhayan ang naka-depende dito. Umaasa sa fish supply ng Manila Bay ang may 300,000 na mangingisda," Villar said.

"At syempre, ang Manila Bay na kilala sa buong mundo dahil sa napakagandang sunset nito ay gusto din nating patuloy na ma-enjoy ng future generations. Kaya naman nagpapasalamat ako sa mga taong sumusuporta sa paglilinis at rehabilitasyon ng Manila Bay. Umaasa ako na kahit na malayo pa tayo sa end-goal, we continue to inspire others to help us win the Battle for Manila Bay," she added.

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