The Department of Environment and Natural Resources is now requiring all establishments within the Manila Bay area to connect to existing sewer lines or set up their own sewerage treatment plants to ensure that wastewater is properly collected and treated.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, chairperson of the inter-agency Manila Bay task force, issued Memorandum Circular 2019-01 covering all government facilities, subdivisions, condominiums, commercial centers, hotels, sports, and recreational facilities, hospitals, marketplaces, public buildings, industrial complex, and other similar establishments.
“The Manila Bay region covered by the circular encompasses the entire bay coastline of 190 kilometers and the total drainage area of about 17,540 square kilometers across Regions III, IV-A and the National Capital Region,” Cimatu said.
In January, the DENR kicked off a three-phase rehabilitation program, dubbed Battle for Manila Bay, where over 10,000 people joined a massive cleanup activity on Roxas Boulevard in Manila and other parts of the bay.
More than two months since the launch, the DENR and the Laguna Lake Development Authority have already issued hundreds of notices of violation and cease and desist orders to establishments found to have violated pertinent environmental laws.
The DENR seeks to restore the quality of waters of Manila Bay to Class SB level to make them fit for swimming, skin-diving and other forms of contact recreation.
Meanwhile, the agency had removed an illegal drain pipe found along El Nido’s beachfront.
The pipe, which was found discharging black and foul-smelling liquid directly into Bacuit Bay, was traced to Outpost Beach Hostel located in Barangay Corong-Corong.
Henry Adornado, Mimaropa regional executive director, ordered the immediate removal of the sewage pipeline.