MANILA, Philippines?Pasig River is now Metro Manila?s ?pozo negro? or septic tank.
This was revealed during the budget hearing for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the Senate after Secretary Ramon Paje admitted that only 18 percent of the metropolis waste water goes through a treatment plant with the rest going directly to the Pasig River.
Senator Loren Legarda blamed Pasig River?s worsening state to the private concessionaires Manila Water Co. and Maynilad Water for failing to put up sewage treatment plants and throwing the waste water directly to the river. She also scored the state-run Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) for failing to compel the concessionaires to fulfill their commitments.
Legarda noted that the water concessionaires were required to put up water treatment plants as part of their contracts but they opted to just pay the fines rather than invest for the sewerage treatment plant apparently because it was cheaper.
The DENR has slapped a P29.4 million fine against the MWSS, Manila Water and Maynilad for violation of Republic Act (RA) 9275, or the Clean Water Act which requires them to to install and maintain wastewater-treatment facilities within five years after this law took effect in 2004.