Environment groups on Sunday initiated a community-based coastal monitoring to check on the status of garbage pollution in areas surrounding Manila Bay.
Nilad and Earth Island Institute-Asia Pacific will conduct the week-long monitoring dubbed “Dampa Alert” that will end on Sept. 19, in time for the International Coastal Cleanup Day.
On Day 1 of Dampa Alert, volunteers took photos, videos, and recorded their observations of the status of Manila Bay in Mall of Asia Pasay, Manila Yacht Club at Roxas Boulevard, Quirino in Manila, Baseco also in Manila, and Navotas Freedom Park.
The groups said there are consistent reports of garbage pile up in the coastline of Manila Bay.
“We want to highlight the estero pollution near Quirino, Manila which is just several meters away from the controversial white sand/dolomite dumping site. It underscores the futility of white sand dumping when an estero in the same area continues to pollute the waters of Manila Bay,” they said.
Volunteers from Baseco also shared photos and videos exposing the continuing trash problem in the community.
In Navotas, the “black water” of Manila Bay is evident as well as the garbage dump excavated by backhoe operators, Nilad and Earth Island Institute-Asia Pacific said, noting the urgency of cleaning up coastal areas should never subside even during the pandemic.
“Our Day 1 Dampa Alert has confirmed the worsening levels of pollution in Manila Bay which necessitates a holistic response from the government. We are sharing our data from our Dampa Alert to underscore the alarming pollution crisis. As stakeholders, we are prepared to organize cleanup operations. Our community volunteers are preparing to do this on September 19,” they said.
Dampa Alert aims to inform the public and remind authorities that the cleanup of Manila Bay should not be restricted to the bay walk area in Manila, the groups said.
The Manila Bay coastal areas in the National Capital Region comprise several cities and even the non-coastal cities have a crucial role in the cleanup campaign, they added.
The environment groups also called for a comprehensive plan to restore and rehabilitate the waters of Manila Bay. Instead of using limited resources for shallow beautification, local and national agencies were advised to mobilize cleanup operations, they pointed out.