DENR to firms: Put up sewerage treatment plants
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is giving establishments near Manila Bay and its estuaries three months to put up their own sewerage treatment plants.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said on Thursday that his agency would strictly implement the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004 to address the issues of water quality and other environmental concerns affecting the bay.
Less than two weeks before the official kickoff of the “Manila Bay Action Plan,” the DENR has started checking hotels, restaurants and other commercial establishments located near the body of water for their compliance with environmental laws.
On Jan. 27, it will announce the first of several violators found to be dumping wastewater either into the bay or its waterways.
“We plan to clean up Manila Bay, including all the estero and rivers connected, the Pasig River and Laguna [de Bay],” Cimatu said in a statement, noting that DENR offices in Metro Manila, Calabarzon region and the provinces of Pampanga and Bataan would be involved in the interagency effort.
First phase of rehab plan
The cleanup and improvement of the bay’s water quality is part of the first phase of the government’s proposed P42-billion rehabilitation plan.
It also includes the cleanup of esteros and waterways, as well as the reduction of the level of fecal coliform and toxic discharges from establishments.
The latest water test showed that the bay’s coliform level was at 330 million most probable number (MPN) per 100 milliliters. The DENR plans to reduce this to 270 MPN by yearend, closer to the acceptable level of 100 MPN.
Cimatu said the first phase of the rehabilitation would also involve the relocation of some 220,000 informal settler families who live beside waterways connected to the bay.
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