DILG: Metro Manila mayors support Manila Bay rehab
MANILA, Philippines — The Metro Manila Council, composed of mayors in the metropolis, passed a resolution on Thursday supporting the rehabilitation of the Manila Bay, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año and Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu met with all mayors of Metro Manila at the office of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to seek their support in closing business establishments found to be violating environmental laws and polluting the bay.
“The mayors are 100 percent behind our effort to clean up and rehabilitate the Manila Bay. They also committed to immediately close all establishments that were previously issued with Cease and Desist Orders (CDOs) by the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) or LLDA (Laguna Lake Development Authority),” Año said in a statement.
According to Cimatu, the mayors may issue CDOs, show cause orders, and notice of violations to all inspected business establishments found to be violating environmental laws.
Año also urged the mayors to inspect establishments using their authority under the local government code and close businesses without waiting for the DENR’s order while still observing appropriate laws.
The DILG said the mayors also expressed support for the resettlement of informal settlers into the cities or in the provinces with the help of the agency and the National Housing Authority.
Around 220,000 squatter families live along the watershed area of the Manila Bay, including those living along the 17 river systems that flow into the bay, the DILG said.
“I am pleased that the mayors and the DENR collectively support this major undertaking for us to achieve our goal of relocating informal settler families to better places where they can have a better life,” Año said.
He also urged the mayors to expedite the implementation of their own housing programs as the DILG work with government housing agencies in building more housing units. /jpv
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