SC wants gov’t report on Manila Bay rehab
The Supreme Court has ordered concerned government agencies to submit a report over its directive to clean up, rehabilitate and preserve Manila Bay.
The report, which should be submitted by Sept. 30, should include information about the ongoing reclamations and their environmental impact assessments, especially their effect on pollution, the Supreme Court public information office said.
It added that the justices decided to hold oral arguments on the Manila Bay pollution case, but they have yet to set the specific date for the hearings.
In 2008, the high court granted a petition by a group of residents concerned about the polluted bay and issued a writ of continuing mandamus directing the government agencies to clean up, rehabilitate and eventually preserve Manila Bay.
In 2011, the high court ordered the party government agencies to execute directives in order to implement the 2008 decision.
These government agencies were also required by the high court to submit a report regarding actions taken to uphold its ruling, including measurement benchmarks of the pollution in Manila Bay.
They were also asked to inform the high court about the current government strategies being implemented to comply with their mandate to clean up, rehabilitate and preserve Manila Bay, and restore and maintain its waters to levels fit for swimming, skin-diving and other forms of contact recreation.
The court also wants to know from these agencies their “realistic targets” for the next five years.
Earlier this month, Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga announced that all 22 reclamation projects in Manila Bay were suspended.
Yulo-Loyzaga also said in a previous statement that the high court mandamus ruling on Manila Bay must be taken into account in all reclamation projects within the historic water body.
According to her, the legal and regulatory context of reclamation activities “must also be paramount in consideration,” aside from the environmental aspects.
“The most important and relevant [legal and regulatory context] … is the Manila Bay mandamus ruling,” she said.