Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu has ordered an investigation to identify the establishments that continue to discharge untreated wastewater directly into the Manila Bay.
“We will study the legal actions we can pursue against these establishments to ensure that they are made accountable for their violation of environmental laws,” Cimatu said.
The DENR chief issued the statement aftera culvert or drainage pipe was discovered hidden behind boulders at Station 640 along the Manila Baywalk on Roxas Boulevard.
Water sample analysis showed that fecal coliform count in the area was significantly high at 50 million most probable number per 100 milliliters (MPN/100ml).
Upon further inspection, the DENR found three more alleged culverts along the baywalk.
Pipes were found beside the Remedios drainage outfall across Station 240 beside the Padre Faura outfall, and near the Estero San Antonio de Abad outfall.
The coliform level, specifically at the Remedios outfall, was measured at 32 million MPN/100 ml.
A total of 33 intake drainages were also observed from the US Embassy to Manila Yacht Club.
The DENR said water coming from these drainages flow into a line drainage canal along the baywalk, drain towards the Remedios outfall, and eventually to Manila Bay.
“In order to solve the pollution in the waters of Manila Bay, we at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources should trace all the illegal pipes that directly drain polluted wastewater to the bay,” Cimatu said.
“We will continue to examine more closely these culverts, illegal connections, and outfalls. Otherwise, these will continue to spew out pollutants that can impede our progress in the rehabilitation of Manila Bay,” he added.
“We want to make all violators realize that laws shouldn’t be taken lightly if we want to see a behavior change in the next generations.”