The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) – Environmental Management Bureau–National Capital Region (EMB-NCR) has cited a significant improvement in the water quality of the Manila Bay, owing to the continuing rehabilitation efforts in all river systems and tributaries within the bay region.
Citing data of the EMB-NCR as of June 2022, the DENR regional director Michael Drake Matias said fecal coliform level at the Manila Bay beach nourishment station near the United States Embassy in Manila has decreased to 2,400 most probable number per 100 milliliters (MPN/100mL) from 7,100 MPN/100mL in 2021.
Two water quality monitoring stations near the Dolomite Beach also registered lower fecal coliform levels
The four Metropolitan Environment Offices also reported a significant decrease in fecal coliform levels within their respective areas.
Matias said fecal coliform levels have dropped in the Malabon-Navotas-Tullahan-Tinajeros River System. “We have seen remarkable gains in Manila Bay based on the water quality monitoring results. Rest assured that we will not stop here and will continue our work as part of the Manila Bay rehabilitation project.”
Although the readings show that the current levels are still far from the fecal coliform standard of 100 MPN/100mL to restore Manila Bay’s water quality to Class SB level, Matias said the goal is a big challenge, but attainable through the collaboration of both local and national governments and the public.
Class SB is a DENR classification for coastal areas and waters where the public may safely engage in bathing, swimming, skin diving, and similar recreational activities.
“Reaching the 100 MPN/100mL standard is not impossible through our solid waste management strategies, geoengineering interventions, and with the establishment of our real-time online water quality monitoring system,” Matias said.
EMB-NCR checks 412 monitoring sampling stations scattered in various water bodies of Metro Manila.
Twenty-three stations, which include stations near the Dolomite Beach, Rizal Park Hotel, and US Embassy, are being monitored three times a week.
Meanwhile, 18 stations—including the Manila Yacht Club sewerage treatment plant and Aristocrat Restaurant monitoring stations—were being checked weekly.
EMB-NCR also conducts monthly monitoring of 133 stations, which include the Manila Bay river outfalls and the Marikina River.