The Department of the Interior and Local Government, through the Office of the Undersecretary for Barangay Affairs (OUSBA), DILG-National Capital Region (DILG-NCR), and the National Barangay Operations Office (NBOO), in an inter-agency cooperation with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Philippine National Police (PNP), National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), Northern Police District (NPD), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Caloocan, Caloocan Police Station (CPS), and the Department of Natural Resources-National Capital Region (DENR-NCR), conducted the KALINISAN (Kalinga at Inisyatiba para sa Malinis na Bayan) sa Bagong Pilipinas Clean-up Program in Caloocan City at Lapu-Lapu Creek on January 27, 2024, Saturday.
The clean-up gathered more than 500 individuals to clean the creek and their respective communities, which was composed of citizens and barangay officials from Barangays 7, 8, 12, and 14 within the proximity of the waterway. The Caloocan City LGU also allocated a significant workforce for the clean-up, involving the Caloocan City Environmental Management Department (CEMD), the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (DRRMO), the General Services Office (GSO), the City Engineering Office, and the Office of the City Administrator, as well as elected barangay officials, street sweepers, and other volunteers. Partner agencies have also mobilized their personnel, which included the Estero Rangers of DENR-NCR.
Lapu-Lapu Creek is a 200-meter drainage canal that lies along Lapu-Lapu Avenue, at the boundary between the Cities of Caloocan and Malabon. About half a ton of trash flows along the creek on a daily basis, most of which comes from the aforementioned cities, as well as the City of Navotas.
After the clean-up, 120 sacks of mixed solid waste were collected from the Lapu-lapu creek and 140 sacks from the streets in the vicinity of the creek and alleys. DILG Undersecretary for Barangay Affairs Felicito A. Valmocina oversaw and led the clean-up activity, and thankfully acknowledged the support of the Punong Barangays and the people alike for the KALINISAN sa Bagong Pilipinas initiative.
“Nandito kayo para sumuporta sa isang napaka-ganda at napaka-halagang programa. Ito na po ang tamang panahon para magkaisa, sapagkat kung hindi po ngayon, kailan pa? Kung hindi po tayo, sino?,” Usec. Valmocina said as he continued to remind everyone present that instilling discipline within the barangay is indispensable for the growth of their communities.
“Ito po ang mga programang hindi kailangan ng budget, ang kailangan lang po dito ay initiative,” he further remarked.
As part of the program, the barangay officials, barangay staff, and the residents of the City of Caloocan pledged their commitment to maintain the cleanliness of their communities. They have pledged to implement, sustain, and wholeheartedly embrace the importance of a clean environment for the sake of themselves, their families, and the nation, as a whole.
Right after their statement of commitment and action, all DILG personnel, partner agencies, and LGU staff, sweepers, residents, and volunteers started to clean the Lapu-Lapu Creek using cleaning implements such as nets, rakes, and trash bags to collect trash. Alleys within the nearby barangays were also rid of garbage with the joint efforts of the volunteers. The KALINISAN activity concluded with a spick and span waterway, and clean streets.
The Department and its attached agencies have always supported initiatives relating to the preservation of the environment, and will continue to work with the local government units and the barangays to maintain orderly and peaceful communities.