In his recent speech at the Barangay Summit on Peace and Order meeting held in Pasay City last January 8, President Rodrigo Duterte instructed several government officials to kickstart Manila Bay’s rehabilitation.
The Department of Tourism announced that they were fully supportive of the President’s initiative, pointing out the growing trash problem at Manila’s natural harbor.
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The government will begin the Manila Bay rehabilitation on January 27. According to Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary Benny Antiporda, they are willing to fund the project estimated to cost P47 billion.
Part of the budget will be used to relocate locals living near the area.
For additional funds, President Duterte considers using the Road Users’ Tax. An official from the Malacañang Palace said that the President aims to finish the rehabilitation by the end of his term in 2022.
Hotels and establishments surrounding the Manila Bay are requested to comply with the regulations that will be provided or else they will be forced to close as per the President’s order.
For many years, Manila Bay has suffered from the massive amounts of garbage coming from nearby provinces such as Cavite and Laguna.
Contributing to 70% of the pollution in the bay, household waste of illegal settlers are also to blame. All of these wastes create alarming environmental effects, especially when storms rage.
It is also worrying to know that the bay houses a disturbing amount of coliform, a type of bacteria that usually comes from estuaries.
The government is looking to decrease the bacteria level to the point that they can give people the green signal to safely swim in the area. This environmental order follows the six-month rehabilitation of Boracay.
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