As government start the rehabilitation of Manila Bay, plans are also under way to transform the waters of Bacuit Bay in El Nido, Palawan swimmable by May, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu tasked DENR’s Mimaropa regional executive director Henry Adornado to lead the rehabilitation of Bacuit Bay.
“We are confident we can present to the public an improved Bacuit Bay—safe and fit for bathing and swimming,” Adornado said.
During the first environmental forum held recently in El Nido, at least 200 participants—commercial establishment owners, business operators and representatives of local and national government agencies—were in attendance.
The DENR and other government agencies want to declare Bacuit Bay as a water quality management area pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act No. 9275 or the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004.
“Water quality management is one of the priorities of Secretary Cimatu. The establishment of Bacuit Bay as a WQMA adheres to the thrust of his administration for clean water. We look forward to having a sustained and collective action towards saving Bacuit Bay and the rest of our natural resources here in El Nido,” Assistant Secretary for Field Operations for Southern Luzon Reynulfo Juan said.
Meanwhile, the DENR, in cooperation with the Bureau of Customs, had arrested a passenger for attempting to smuggle into the Philippines over 50 heads of different reptile species from Thailand.
The suspect, identified as Neil Ryan Dysoco, would be chaged with violation of Republic Act No. 9147.
Arnel Matreo, head of the Wildlife Traffic Monitoring Unit of DENR-National Capital Region, said the suspect was arrested at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 at 11:30 p. m. of Feb, 21.
Dysoco arrived from on board flight PR-737 from Bangkok, Thailand, when agents discovered that his baggage contained 48 heads of green iguana, two green basilisk lizards, three bearded dragons, and four chameleons.
The rescued animals would be turned over to the Wildlife Rescue Center of the DENR’s Biodiversity Management Bureau.