After Boracay, DENR considers Manila Bay restoration

Volunteers collect garbage along the shore off Manila Bay, during an environmental project marking World Oceans Day in Paranaque, Metro Manila in this June 8, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

After the successful rehabilitation of Boracay Island, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is now considering to restore Manila Bay to a level fit for swimming, skin diving, and other contact forms of recreation.

In a statement, DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu addressed that he is determined to rehabilitate the polluted bay in Metro Manila, so that Filipinos may once again safely swim and do other forms of recreation there.

“We are preparing for an all-out strategy to bring the coliform concentration in Manila Bay to a safe level so that millions of people who reside in the bay region and neighboring areas will enjoy its waters and marine resources without fear of getting sick,” Cimatu said.

He also added that the government “will show the same level of political will” in cleaning up Manila Bay as it did during the rehabilitation of Boracay, which was described by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte as a “cesspool.”

According to Cimatu, part of the DENR’s strategy is to ensure compliance with environmental laws among all local government units (LGUs) surrounding Manila Bay. He also revealed that a Manila Bay Command Center under the DENR-NCR would be created to oversee the zonal operations of four field offices to be set up in six coastal cities of Metro Manila, namely: Malabon-Navotas, Manila, Pasay-Parañaque, and Las Piñas.

He also noted that the said field offices will be manned by personnel who will closely coordinate with city or municipal environment officers to ensure that cleanup activities and programs are being carried out and sustained.

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