Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada on Tuesday warned the public against swimming in Manila Bay to cope with rising temperatures, saying the polluted water body could pose serious health risks such as diarrhea, cholera, typhoid fever, and other illnesses.
The former President said there are public swimming pools in the city where Manileños can refresh themselves and avoid fecal bacteria.
Estrada observed that hundreds of people, not only residents of Manila, come in droves to frolic and take a dip in the Manila Bay and Baseco shore area to beat the rising temperatures.
The mayor has already ordered Manila Police District Chief Supt. Joel Napoleon Coronel to post police officers near Baseco and Manila Bay to warn people to stay out of the filthy waters.
Manila City Health Department head Dr. Benjamin Yson said they regularly test the water from Manila Bay and other beaches in the city to monitor the presence of fecal bacteria.
“When these bacteria show up, it usually means fecal pollution that could come from animal or human waste,” Yson said.
If a swimmer with an open wound comes in contact with these bacteria, it could cause diseases, infection or rashes, the doctor said.
Estrada said that fecal coliform bacteria enter the water bodies through direct discharge of raw sewage, septage, and untreated or partially treated wastewater from domestic sources.
“Please, avoid taking a dip at the Manila Bay or Baseco, it’s polluted. There are 16 public swimming polls in Manila and they are free to use,” Estrada added.