Manila Bay’s shoreline between the Manila Yacht Club and the US Embassy will be closed to the public temporarily for rehabilitation and cleaning, an official has said.
“We’ll close that stretch hopefully in about one to two weeks,” Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said Tuesday on the sidelines of the Wood Summit in Mandaluyong City.
In other developments:
• The Environment department said Wednesday there will be no eviction and relocation of the squatters along the Manila Bay “in the meantime” but the agency plans to put up a communal septic tank and waste water treatment facility to ensure that human waste does not end up in the bay.
• The Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission is opposing the proposals to postpone the rehabilitation of Manila Bay.
In a statement Wednesday, PRRC Executive Director Jose Antonio Goitia said postponing the rehabilitation would result in the degradation of the condition of Manila Bay and the Pasig River, as well as the prolonged exposure of the squatters to inhumane conditions.
Cimatu said the promenade will remain open so that the public can continue strolling, jogging and watching Manila Bay’s famous sunset.
Signs, markers and other means of delineating the target area will be installed so the public can be guided accordingly, he said.
Last Sunday, Cimatu led the start of Manila Bay’s rehabilitation that aims to improve the quality of its water.
Cimatu said the rehabilitation of the shoreline from the US Embassy to the Manila Yacht Club was a priority to prevent untreated effluent flowing out of three sewage outfalls from directly discharging into Manila Bay.
He said two of those outfalls would be connected to the third outfall which, in turn, would be linked to a treatment facility.
The effluent would be treated in the facility before flowing into Manila Bay. “It’s our first target,” he said.
Data from the DENR showed that the level of coliform bacteria in the target area’s waters is already more than one million most probable number per 100 milliliters. The safe level is 100 MPN per 100 milliliters only.
Experts said coliform bacteria is found in human and animal feces. Water contaminated with coliform bacteria has the potential to cause disease. With Rio N. Araja
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