Manila Bay cleanup task force chief tells shipyard users he means business

Published June 20, 2021, 6:06 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary Benny Antiporda has told shipyard users that he is bent on solving Manila Bay’s water pollution problem, which the latter may be exacerbating.

(Photo from Undersecretary Benny Antiporda’s Facebook)

This, as Antiporda held a meeting with members of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the concerned stakeholders at DENR over the weekend to discuss the continuing cleanup of Manila Bay.

“Hindi po trabaho ng pamahalaan na linisin ang pinagkakakitaan ninyo. Pinatawag po namin kayo upang pag-usapan po natin ito (It is not the government’s job to sanitize your livelihood. We called you here so that we can discuss this),” he said on Friday, June 18.

“We are here to determine the problem and provide solution to the problem,” added Antiporda, who heads the Manila Bay Anti-Pollution Task Force (MBAPTF).

It was during a June 4 inspection at the Navotas fish port and Delpan, Manila when the DENR official noticed the draining of wastewater from the vessels docked at local shipyards into the bay. This wastewater comes from vessels that are being repaired at the shipyards.

“When it rains, the rust removed from the vessels will go directly to the ocean, thus [contaminating] the water,” Antiporda said.

Also during the Friday meeting, the DENR presented to the attendees the result of the water sampling conducted by the agency’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) on June 4.

As per the findings, the water samples gathered from Navotas and Delpan did not comform with DENR Water Quality Guidelines values in terms of dissolved oxygen (DO) and fecal coliform, among other indicators water pollution.

(Photo from Undersecretary Benny Antiporda’s Facebook)

“Less DO results in less oxygen an aquatic life can get. This will result to death of marine mammals, plants, and other aquatic organisms.

“High level of fecal coliform means the water has a disease-causing bacteria. Coliform bacteria grow in the digestive tracts of humans and other warm-blooded animals, and serve as indicators of fecal contamination and as marker for other possibly pathogenic microorganisms,” the findings read.

Attendees to the meeting include representatives from the Manila Bay Sailors/Filipinas Yacht Inc., R

“It is time for us to change history when it comes to the environment. Most of the time it is the environment that is being sacrificed. With this administration, we mean business when it comes to protecting our environment,” Antiporda told the stakeholders.