WITH less than two years left before the end of the Duterte administration, it’s time to step up the pressure on concerned government authorities to hasten the clean-up of the sun-kissed Manila Bay.
A natural harbor with an area of more than 1,994 square kilometers, the ancient but historic Manila Bay is a nice place to relax in the evening and enjoy its breathtaking sunset
Dubbed the “Battle for Manila Bay,” the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), with 10,000 volunteers, launched the three-year, P43-billion rehabilitation project in January 2019.
A month later, President Duterte formed the Manila Bay Task Force (MBTF) and designated DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, a former chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, as its chairman.
As chairman of the 13-member task force, the highly-decorated four-star military general is mandated to hasten government efforts to restore the now heavily-polluted Manila Bay to its former glory.
Last week, the DENR installed the first solar-powered sewage treatment plant (STP) on Roxas Boulevard in Manila as part of the national government’s highly-ambitious program to clean the bay.
Cimatu said three more STPs would be set up on major river systems that drain into the bay, namely the Tullahan-Tinajeros River, the Las Pinas-Zapote River and the Libertad outfall in Paranaque River.
The project is seen to ensure that no untreated wastewater from the three drainage outfalls – Padre Faura, Remedios and Estero de San Antonio Abad – flow into Manila Bay.
Under the project, the untreated water from the STP will be recycled and stored in an underground tank with a capacity of two million liters.
The treated water will be used for watering plants along Roxas Boulevard, maintenance of two solar-powered comfort rooms at the bay walk area, and fire trucks of Manila and Pasay City.
Why should the government spend multi-billion-pesos of the people’s hard-earned money for cleaning Manila Bay?
It’s because Filipinos, now numbering more than 100 million people, want to restore the historic body of water to a level fit for swimming, bathing, boating and fishing like in the good old days.