CALAMBA CITY, Laguna – Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy A. Cimatu vowed on Friday to implement an extensive cleanup of the Manila Bay coastline, which stretches 190 km. across three regions from Cavite in Calabarzon, National Capital Region (NCR) or the Metro Manila area, and Bulacan and Pampanga in Central Luzon.
Cimatu graced the inauguration of the new DENR-Calabarzon office, designed to resemble a dicotyledon flower, located just next to the South Luzon Expressway interchange at the Mayapa-Canlubang exit here.
“We are in the limelight now of what we want to do with Manila Bay. The President has shown confidence in our competence after what we have done in Boracay,” Cimatu said.
He said Calabarzon, which consists of the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon, have their work cut out for them in rehabilitating Manila Bay, following President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive for the DENR to swiftly implement the Supreme Court mandamus declaration.
The environment chief said he had an informal talk with City Mayor Justin Marc Chipeco, who reported the city’s problematic issue on garbage as it is running out of available dumpsites, a similar problem around Manila Bay.
“This is the right time to confront the problem head on as we are tasked to clear Manila Bay of garbage,” Cimatu said, noting that the lack of space may have prompted residents to dump garbage into bodies of water that eventually end up in Manila Bay.
“In Manila Bay, we have to break down in class SB status the fatal coliform of 330 million spm per 100 ml. of Manila Bay and the required effort to clean and rehabilitate Manila Bay would take around 330 times as that of Boracay,” he said.
Cimatu also pointed out that some business establishments, including hotels, do not comply with the provisions of the Environment Compliance Certificate (ECC), saying that a certain hotel, which is now under investigation, has gone so far as to dump human waste in Manila Bay.
He also introduced a strategic solution to divide cleanup operations of the Bay into three regions – Cavite from Ternate to Bacoor City in Calabarzon, NCR, and Central Luzon.
Meanwhile, Cimatu told the environment regional office staff that “having a new building is also a new start, a new beginning and a promise of growth and the conduciveness to work effectively and efficiently and thus work hard to restore Manila Bay to its pristine condition.” (PNA)