THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources is set to spearhead a high-level inter-agency meeting today to discuss the implementation of an “honest-to-goodness” clearing operation along Pasig River.
Secretary Roy Cimatu said the Manila Bay Task Force invited to the meeting heads of 12 other government agencies tasked in the 2008 writ of continuing mandamus issued by the Supreme Court to clean up, rehabilitate and preserve Manila Bay.
The agencies involved are the departments of Agriculture, Public Works and Highways, Interior and Local Government, Department of Education, Health and Budget and Management; Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System; Local Water Utilities Administration; Metropolitan Manila Development Authority; Philippine Coast Guard; Philippine National Police-Maritime Group, and Philippine Ports Authority.
Mayors Francisco Domagoso of Manila, Vico Sotto of Pasig City and Abby Binay of Makati City have also been invited to attend the meeting.
The DENR chief said the meeting would serve as an opportunity for the agency to touch base with other agencies covered by the continuing mandamus.
He earlier came out with a directive to clear the 24-kilometer Pasig River of “all obstructions and blockage” for the recently relaunched ferry service and in line with the ongoing rehabilitation of Manila Bay.
About one-fifth of the organic pollution load to Manila Bay came from the Pasig River basin.