MANILA, Philippines - The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is out to clean the metropolis "Singapore style."

The MMDA under Chaiman Francis Tolentino has in its corner Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon Paje who was given instructions by the President himself to implement the same strictness as Singapore when it comes to keeping the streets clean.

"President (Benigno) Noynoy (Aquino III) told me, 'I want you to clean Metro Manila Singapore style,"' Paje said during the launch of the MMDA's "Metro Ko, Love Ko" anti-littering program earlier this month.

Tolentino called it a great proposal on the part of the president. "Napakaganda pong panukala iyon. Makikipagtulungan po ako sa mga metro mayors pati na ang DENR at iba't ibang ahensiya. Pipilitin po naming tuparin yung tagubilin ng ating mahal na pangulo.

"(That is a great proposal. I will be seeking the help of the metro mayors as well as that of the DENR and different agencies. We will strive to follow the order of our beloved president)."

The DENR chief praised Tolentino for taking the lead in getting tough against litterbugs, wherein the violators are literally made to pay for their mistakes as with the case in the Philippines' Southeast Asian neighbor.

It would be recalled that Tolentino tapped "environmental enforcers" for the strict implementation of Republic Act (R.A.) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 and MMDA Regulation No. 96-009 or the Anti-Littering Ordinance last September. Since then, the agency has apprehended over 21,000 litterbugs in Metro Manila.

The MMDA chairman said the environmental enforcers have been deputized to monitor the major thoroughfares of Metro Manila. Individuals caught spitting or indiscriminately throwing waste like cigarette butts and candy wrappers are issued environmental violation receipts (EVRs).

EVRs have corresponding fines ranging between P500 and P1,000. Failure to pay a fine means that the violator would have to undergo eight to 16 hours of community service, the MMDA said.

Paje commended the agency's recent initiatives for the environment, which include the "Lingap sa Barangay" cleanup drives and the "Estero Declaration" with the 17 mayors of Metro Manila for the rehabilitation and protection of important waterways.

News Courtesy of Manila Bulletin (Philippines Leading Broadsheet) 
Photo Courtesy of Andre Salvador

I love to see Manila to be clean like Calgary, Canada; Honolulu, Helsinki, Ottawa, Minneapolis, Oslo, Stockholm,  Zurich, Katsuyama, Japan; Bern, Montreal, Vancouver, Boston, Lexington Ky; Pittsburgh, Nunberg, Germany; Geneva, Auckland, NZ; Wellington, Dublin and among others like Singapore City the cleanest in Southeast Asia region. I love the Philippines to be clean by cleaning the surroundings and  planting trees with care until it survive by its own.   


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