DENR creates Manila Bay anti-pollution task force
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has created an anti-pollution task force to fast-track the rehabilitation and restoration of the coastal and marine ecosystem of the Manila Bay.
In an order dated Jan. 26, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said the following offices will make up the Manila Bay Anti-Pollution Task Force:
- Manila Bay Coordinating Office
- River Basin Control Office
- Pasig River Coordinating and Management Office
- National Water Resources Board
- Laguna Lake Development Authority
- Environmental Management Bureau in Regions I, III, IV-A and the National Capital Region
The task force will ensure that government facilities, residential and commercial establishments, commercial centers within the entire Manila Bay region will comply relative to their connection on existing sewerage systems, or the construction of their individual sewerage plant.
The task force can recommend for the issuance of appropriate orders, imposition of fines, penalties and other administrative sanctions to compel compliance of the establishments.
The new anti-pollution task force will be headed by the Undersecretary for Solid Waste and Local Government Units Concerns Benny Antiporda.
Antiporda also warned establishments found to be polluters in Manila Bay to reform or face the full force of the law.
“Shape up or ship out. We will deal with you head on,” Antiporda warned business establishments that will violate the environmental laws.
It is also tasked to spearhead the undertaking of remedial measures using engineering and technological interventions to improve the water quality of Manila Bay.
The task force will also monitor the enforcement of provisions of the Clean Water Act on the containment, removal and clean-up operations. It will likewise supervise and control all aspects of water quality management in the Manila Bay region.
It is also responsible for inspecting sanitary landfills in Metro Manila, Calabarzon and Central Luzon which affect the Manila Bay.
The task force will also have the authority to issue notices of violations or closure, cease and desist orders, and other appropriate sanctions to violators of all environmental laws, rules and regulations, including the filing of cases.