The ugly truth behind Manila Bay’s beauty | Credits to Philippine Images FB
MANILA, Philippines – Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu personally inspects Estero de San Antonio De Abad in Manila on Thursday (December 20) in preparation for the planned rehabilitation of Manila Bay.
Through DENR’s water quality monitoring checkers, water samples were taken from that side of Manila Bay which will be brought to the agency’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) to determine the level of fecal coliform, nitrate and phosphate nutrients present in the area.
Cimatu believes the said waterway is one of the main contributors to extreme pollution that’s killing Manila Bay.
The stretch of Estero De San Antonio Abad leads to Manila Yacht Club and the US Embassy.
According to Cimatu, coliform level is at the highest on the Roxas Boulevard side of Manila Bay which reaches to 333M most probable number (mpn).
This is far higher than the safe level of 100mpn recommended for swimming and recreational activities.
“The problem is coming from the esteros in Metro Manila… ang lumalabas kasi ngayon ang ating ano sa Manila bay is 330M (MPN) ang coliform level in Manila Bay. Saan nanggagaling ang mga ito? Dito sa mga esteros na ito,” Cimatu said.
The DENR discovered that surrounding establishments in Manila Bay have poor waste treatment facilities and wastewater coming from them directly flows to Manila Bay causing heavy pollution.
These commercial facilities are specifically located in Taft Avenue to include hospitals, malls, hotels, and even one of Manila’s main attractions – the Manila Zoo.
“The discharge comes from commercial (structures). Grabe ang commercial discharges,” said DENR Usec. Sherwin Rigor
The DENR assessed that Manila Bay will be a massive work to do.
“Check iyong mga establishments diyan. Check their sewage system treatment plant at saka kung meron silang ECC. Check mo lahat ng mga ito,” Cimatu ordered his evaluators.
As part of the rehabilitation, silt-curtains will be installed in every end of the creeks that dispose water directly to Manila Bay to filter the trash.
Residents around Manila Bay will be relocated to nearby provinces specifically to Bulacan and Cavite.
Meanwhile, the DENR warns closure against establishments that disposes wastewater to Manila Bay.
The agency will convene all local executives in Metro Manila on January 15 together will the local officials in nearby provinces to discuss the master plan for the rehabilitation.
The DENR hopes to see improvements in the quality of water in Manila Bay by the end of 2019. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Mai Bermudez)