Manila Bay cleanup, rehabilitation to start Jan. 27
MANILA, Philippines — The cleanup and rehabilitation of the hyperpolluted Manila Bay will start on January 27, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said on Tuesday.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu explained that the rehabilitation would start with the cleanup of Manila Bay’s esteros and coastline and relocating informal settlers.
“Phase one cleaning of esteros and coastline of Manila Bay — yan ang uunahin natin (We will start with that),” Cimatu said in a press briefing.
“Habang nag-clean up tayo, nag-umpisa na rin yung planning for rehabilitation. Yung unang effort diyan is the relocation of the informal settlers. Dapat makikita na natin kung sino uunahin nating i-relocate,” he added.
(While we are doing the cleanup, we will start planning the rehabilitation. The first effort there is to relocate informal settlers. We need to determine who we are going to relocate first.)
Cimatu added that changing the “cultural habit” of people living near the esteros will also be part of the rehabilitation process.
“At the same time, ‘yung education, pag-change ng cultural habit of the people in esteros. Kailangan matuloy tuloy ito habang makikita naman ng mga tao dun and it would be right time for them to know what is causing the problem before.
(At the same time, we need to educate and change the cultural habit of the people in the esteros. We need to see this through so people ca see that it would be the right time for them to know what is causing the problem.)
A list of local establishments that violated environmental laws will be releaed on Jan. 27, Cimatu revealed.
“Probably, the oldest of the establishment, ‘di nila alam yung kanilang establishment ay nakakabigay ng dumi sa Manila Bay. They might not know this [but] by Jan. 27 malalaman nila na kung ang establishment nila ay compliant,” he said.
(Probably, the oldest of the establishments doesn’t even know that they are contributing to the pollution in Manila Bay. They might not know this [but] by Jan. 27 they would know if their establishment is compliant.)
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said hotels and resorts in the Manila Bay area will be accredited by the Department of Tourism (DOT), a scheme similar to the Boracay rehabilitation.
“We will be consulting with them and then we will be following the Boracay formula. First we will not give DOT accreditation unless there is no DENR or DILG [Department of Interior and Local Government] compliance,” Puyat said during the press briefing. /ee
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