By Madelaine B. Miraflor
The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) said it will ensure full compliance to a Supreme Court continuing mandamus among its concessionaires, Maynilad Water Services, Inc. and Manila Water Company, Inc. (Related story on B5)
MWSS was referring to 2008 writ of continuing mandamus issued by the Supreme Court, which ordered some government agencies to “clean up, rehabilitate and preserve Manila Bay and restore and maintain its water to level fit for swimming, skin diving and other forms of contact recreation”.
As MWSS’ concessionaires, Maynilad and Manila Water are required to improve and expand their respective sewerage services to make sure that all the waste water that is being released to Manila Bay has been treated properly.
A statement showed that MWSS Administrator Reynaldo V. Velasco has recently met with officials of Maynilad and Manila Water to discuss their compliance of the SC order.
He also asked them to adjust their targets in terms of sewerage coverage for the years 2022 to 2037.
As of now, only 15 percent of water consumers are connected to sewer lines. As provided in MWSS’ concession agreements with two companies, full sewer and sanitation coverage should be 100 percent by 2037.
The concerted efforts by MWSS and its concessionaires as well as other agencies come in the wake of a massive effort to rehabilitate Manila Bay to be spearheaded by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
The massive clean-up will affect all the cities surrounding the bay, namely, Manila, Quezon City, Pasay, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Pasig, Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela, Makati, Parañaque, Taguig, Muntinglupa, Las Piñas, and Pateros as well as local government units in eight provinces in Region 3, and 4-A and establishments along its 194-kilometer coastline.
The rehabilitation aims to reduce the coliform level to 100 most probable numbers per 100 milliliters (MPN/100ml) or low enough for the bay to be safe for swimming from its current level of 333 million MPN/100ml.