By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will require a coordinated and integrated effort in the cleanup of all water bodies draining into the Manila Bay and deal with the sources of pollution, as the bay’s rehabilitation formally begins on January 27.
“All of these efforts for the cleanup are integrated. We plan to clean the Manila Bay including all the esteros (waterways) and rivers connected—the Pasig River and the Laguna Lake,” DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu said.
He said the regional offices of DENR in Metro Manila and Calabarzon, as well as its provincial offices in Pampanga and Bataan, will be involved in the rehabilitation efforts.
He also underscored the need to “clean the water source, so as to put an end to pollution.”
“We need to find out where the outfalls come from individually, because in just one estero we can find lots of outfalls,” Cimatu pointed out.
“We have seen the problem closely this time, and we have already laid out a detailed solution,” he added.
The DENR’s goal, he said, is to bring down the coliform level in all esteros to 100 most probable number (MPN) per 100 milliliters (mL).
At the same time, Cimatu said water concessionaires Maynilad and Manila Water, which are catering to commercial and residential establishments in Metro Manila, will also undergo inspection.
Reforestation of mangrove areas in the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area is also included in the rehabilitation plan, he said.
The unveiling of the new Manila Bay rehabilitation plan will be on January 27 where the DENR will also reveal the establishments initially found to be non-compliant with effluent standards under the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004.