Senator Legarda to Neda: Restore ecology of Manila Bay
Sen. Loren Legarda has urged the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) to be proactive and restore the ecological balance of Manila Bay instead of simply developing it through reclamation.
At Thursday’s hearing on the Neda budget and that of its attached agencies, Legarda, the Senate finance committee chair, called on the Neda to ensure the sustainability of Manila Bay by restoring its ecological integrity.
Ecological integrity, as defined by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, is “the structure, composition and function of an ecosystem operating within the bounds of natural or historic range of variation.”
The Neda is looking to craft a P250-million Manila Bay development master plan to be undertaken between next year and 2019, aimed at coordinating the efforts of the national and local governments to develop the region and stimulate economic growth.
Legarda pointed out that while there was a need to build more concrete cities, “the priority should be ensuring that present cities are sustainable.”
She said that “before we even think of reclaiming a portion of Manila Bay again, either for commercial or residential purposes, let us first check the living conditions of the communities around the bay.”
Legarda urged the Neda to meet with the Manila Bay Coordinating Office and go over the bay’s development plans.
“We should have a sustainable restoration program for the bay which should include the strict enforcement of laws such as the Clean Water Act and the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act,” she said.
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