The Department of Environment and Natural Resources tested the quality of water on several portions of the Manila Bay following the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to rehabilitate Manila’s popular coastline starting Jan. 27.
“Establishments have to put up their own sewage treatment plants [STPs]. They cannot discharge their wastewater in the esteros,” Environment chief Roy Cimatu said.
“We are giving them three months to put up their own STPs,” he added.
Cimatu earlier described Manila Bay as a “magnified cesspool” because of the high coliform level of 330 million most probable number (MPN) per 100 milliliter, compared to the safe level of 100 MPN per 100 milliliter.
The DENR’s goal is to reduce the coliform level to less than 270 MPN by December 2019.
Cimatu vowed to apply the same “political will” in rehabilitating Boracay in efforts to clean up the 19-kilometer-long Manila Bay and make the waters fit for swimming, diving, and other forms of contact recreation.
The DENR said the government is considering the use of “special road funds” to finance the cleanup and rehabilitation of Manila Bay.
Earlier, Malacañang said it will use the road users’ tax for government projects including the massive cleanup of Manila Bay and Pasig River.
“We need to confront difficulties in cleaning up the bay because of the informal residence and establishments along the bay. Discipline would play key role in making Manila Bay clean,” he said.