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Duterte creates task force to speed up Manila Bay rehab

/ 09:54 AM February 21, 2019
Manila Bay

People flock to a clean Manila Bay shoreline to enjoy the sand and the sea. PHOTO BY EDWARD LUSTAN / INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the creation of the Manila Bay Task Force to oversee the rehabilitation program of the famed body of water.

Duterte signed Administrative Order 16 last Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, creating the Task Force to be chaired by the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural resources (DENR).

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Serving as vice chairpersons are the secretaries of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of Tourism (DOT).

In his order, Duterte said, “The convergence of the national government agencies and local government units (LGUs) in the Manila Bay region and the active participation of private and public stakeholders, are necessary to facilitate the robust and integrated implementation of all rehabilitation and restoration efforts at the Manila Bay.”

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The Task Force is mandated to enforce relevant provisions of Presidential Decree No. 856 or the Code of Sanitation of the Philippines as amended, RA No. 9275 and RA No. 9003 to ensure the complete rehabilitation, restoration and conservation of the Manila Bay.

It can also “require all government facilities and other establishments, including households to immediately connect existing sewage lines to available sewage systems or sewage treatment plants (STPs) or to construct individual STPs, whenever applicable, as well as to issue appropriate orders, impose fines, penalties, and other administrative sanctions to compel compliance thereof.”

In collaboration with the Anti-Poverty Commission, Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor, National Housing Authority and affected LGUs, the Task force is also asked to prepare and commence the implementation of a comprehensive plan for massive relocation of informal settlers along Manila Bay region.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development and Department of Trade and Industry are tasked to provide social welfare and livelihood assistance to families affected by the cleanup and rehabilitation efforts.

The Task Force’s funding shall be sourced from existing appropriations of its member-agencies and other appropriate funding sources as the Department of Budget and Management may identify, subject to existing budgeting, accounting and auditing laws and regulations.

Sitting as the Task Force’s members are: the secretaries of the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Health, and Department of Agriculture; chairs of the HUDC and MMDA; executive director of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission, administrators of the Local Water Utilities Administration and Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System, director of the PNP Maritime Group, Commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard, general manager of the Philippine Ports Authority and representatives from Manila Water and Maynilad. /cbb

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TAGS: Local news, Malacañang, Manila Bay, Nation, national news, news, Philippine news update, Rodrigo Duterte
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