THE creation of the inter-agency Manila Bay Task Force would harmonize and speed up government efforts to rehabilitated the pollu- ted water body.
Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu also welcomed the creation of the task force which was created under Administrative Order 16 issued by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, through Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, to ensure the “complete rehabilitation, restoration and conservation of the Manila Bay.”
Under the AO, Cimatu was designated as the task force chair while Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año and Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat as vice chairs. The triumvirate was also behind the successful rehabilitation of Boracay last year.
“We are grateful to President Duterte for prioritizing the Manila Bay rehabilitation. This order will fast track all the work we are doing, delineate responsibilities and coordinate activities of all government agencies involved in the rehabilitation efforts,” Cimatu said.
Other members of the task force are the heads of the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Department of Agriculture, the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission, Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), the Philippine National Police Maritime Group, the Philippine Coast Guard, and the Philippine Ports Authority. Also part of the task force are representatives of two water concessionaires in Metro Manila and nearby provinces—Manila Water and Maynilad Water Services Inc.
The Manila Bay Region has a coastline of 190 kilometers and covers Central Luzon, CALABARZON (Regions III and IV-A) and the National Capital Region. It consists of 178 local government units and 17 major river systems.