Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu on Thursday called for an integrated effort to rehabilitate Manila Bay and its tributaries.
He said the rehabilitation project would need a coordinated and integrated effort to clean-up all water bodies draining into the bay and deal with the sources of pollution.
“All of these efforts for the cleanup are integrated. We plan to clean the Manila Bay including all the esteros and rivers connected—the Pasig River and the Laguna Lake,” Cimatu said.
He said that the regional offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the National Capital Region; Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon region; provincial offices in Pampanga and Bataan shall be involved in the rehabilitation efforts.
Cimatu underscored the need to “clean the water source so as to put an end to pollution.”
“We need to find out where the outfalls come from individually, because in just one estero we can find lots of outfalls,” he raised.
“We have seen the problem closely this time, and we have already laid out a detailed solution,” he cited.
According to Cimatu, the agency’s goal is to bring down the coliform level in all esteros to 100 most probable number per 100 milliliters.
The concessionaires of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System -- the Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Manila Water Co. Inc. would also undergo inspection.
The reforestation of mangrove areas in the Las Piñas-Parañaque critical habitat and ecotourism area has also been included in the rehabilitation plan.
The DENR will kick off the bay’s rehabilitation on Jan. 27.