Finally, Manila Bay will undergo a Boracay-like rehab - Cimatu

Finally, Manila Bay will undergo a Boracay-like rehab - Cimatu

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s ‘political will’ will be put to the test again.

The country’s pride – Manila Bay sunset can be achieved again if the said bay can be cleaned.

But make no mistake Manila Bay is not Boracay island- its far more complicated and the work will definitely be more encompassing.

 Manila Bay after Typhoon Ompong hit the country in Sept. (photo credit to Philstar)

Waters of Manila bay are considered the most polluted in the country, due to domestic sewage, industrial toxic wastes from factories and shipping operations.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources Roy Cimatu is already making the way for the project to push through- restore Manila Bay to its pristine state fit for recreation.
“We are preparing for an all-out strategy to bring the coliform concentration in Manila Bay to a safe level so that the people who reside near the bay will enjoy its waters and marine resources without fear of getting sick,” Secretary Roy Cimatu said.
Cimatu, already warned of potential closure of establishments along the shores of Manila Bay that do not conform with the environmental regulations.
Manila Bay’s cleaning will cover the span parts of he National Capital Region, Central Luzon and Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) as it did in Boracay.
A report from the DENR-EMB Environmental Management Bureau showed that the fecal coliform level in the bay reached over 330 million most probable number per 100 milliliters, way beyond the safe level of only 100 MPN/100ml.
The DENR Secretary explains that part of the strategy is to ensure strict compliance with environmental laws of local government units (LGUs) surrounding the bay.
“I am calling on the LGUs to step up their efforts in (the cleanup) because it is their constituents who will benefit from a rehabilitated Manila Bay,” he said.
A Manila Bay Command Center will be established for this purpose to oversee the zonal operations of four field offices to be set up in six coastal cities in Metro Manila: Malabon-Navotas, Manila, Pasay-Parañaque and Las Piñas.
The field offices will be manned by DENR personnel, whose responsibility is to closely coordinate with city or municipal environment officers to ensure that cleanup activities and programs are carried out and sustained.
The DENR is open to modern technologies that would treat water pollutants, whether directly or indirectly taking into account the presence of informal settlers (squatters) along the bay.

Law enforcement agencies will be integral part of the effort to clean Manila bay as they are tasked to go after violators of environmental laws, most notably is the discharge of untreated wastewater into the bay.

Records will show that a Supreme Court in 2008 issued a continuing writ of Mandamus, ordering the 13 government agencies to clean up Manila Bay and restore its water quality to Class SB or safe for recreational activities such as swimming.

As per DENR, Class SB waters are  suitable for commercial propagation of shellfish and as spawning areas for milkfish and other similar species.

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Report from PhilStar

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