DENR to focus on improving Manila Bay's water quality

Published November 6, 2021, 1:51 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will prioritize the improvement of Manila Bay’s water quality before reopening the Dolomite beach.

In a statement Saturday, Nov. 6, DENR Usec. Jonas Leones reiterated that the agency will focus on cleaning the waters so the public can not only step on the Dolomite beach but also swim in its waters.

He added that the DENR-led Manila Bay Task Force (MBTF) will work out a plan for the drainage system of Manila Baywalk’s outfalls in Padre Faura, Remedios, and Abad.

He said the wastewater originating from houses and industries will be diverted to the sewage treatment plant, while floodwater will be coursed through a huge HDPE (high-density polyethylene) pipe that is 400 meters long from the sea wall.

“All of these activities will be completed this year or in the first quarter of 2022, considering possible changes on the alert level status of the NCR,” Leones said.

As of October 25, the waters in the Dolomite beach have a coliform level of 22,000 mpn (most probable number) per 100 milliliters, said DENR National Capital Region Executive Director Jacqueline Caancan.

Caancan admitted that improving the water quality and maintaining it to a low fecal coliform has been a “challenging” task.

Leones added that the water quality in the dolomite area needs to be addressed immediately to achieve the standard level of 100 MPN/100 ml to make it “swimmable.”

But he cited significant improvements in the coliform level, which now only ranges from hundreds to thousands, compared to millions or billions before the rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

In a recent press conference, DENR said the Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach will remain closed to the public for the second phase of its rehabilitation works.