Bulacan airport developer to help with Manila Bay cleanup, says governor
CITY OF MALOLOS — The P735-Billion New Manila International Airport, to be built by beverage giant San Miguel Corporation along Bulacan’s coastal areas, will be the government’s major partner in cleaning up Manila Bay, Bulacan Governor Daniel Fernando said here on Sunday.
“SMC chair Ramon Ang assured me that all waterways surrounding the airport would be dredged because he would not want the project to be blamed for problems like flooding. People who would be displaced have been allocated new homes, and their children and relatives have been given new jobs,” Fernando said during a local fun run, Takbo para sa Kalikasan Manila Bay Clean Up 2.
“We don’t want problems, and neither does the developer,” the governor stressed during the program that was also attended by Senator Cynthia Villar, chair of the Senate environment committee. About ten thousand runners participated in the 3 km, 5 km and 10 km run held at the Bulacan Sports Complex here.
Last September, Ang said the river system coursing through the Bulacan towns of Meycauayan, Marilao, Bocaue, Obando and Bulakan were polluted because of unregulated sewage after he signed the project contract with Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade. The river system is part of Manila Bay.
Ang said SMC will need to clean the waterways before it could proceed with the construction.
Villar said the cleanup efforts would be augmented by a proposed law that would regulate or eliminate the excessive use and improper disposal of plastic waste. The country is the third largest producer and consumer of plastics in the world, trailing behind China and Indonesia.
“Studies show that the ocean would become a virtual desert by 2050 if we do not act now. There will be no fish because fish will die when they eat all the plastics that reach the ocean,” Villar said.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources will soon launch the “Estero Warrior” program which would task 2,500 Estero guards to help stop the dumping of waste into Manila Bay. The agency would also need to relocate a thousand families living in shacks along the bay. /je
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