The Manila Bay rehabilitation project requires a coordinated and integrated effort to clean up all water bodies draining into the bay and deal with the sources of pollution, according to Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.

“All of these efforts for the cleanup are integrated. We plan to clean the Manila Bay including all the esteros and rivers connected—the Pasig River and the Laguna Lake,” Cimatu said.

Cimatu said the regional offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Metro Manila and the Calabarzon region, as well as its provincial offices in Pampanga and Bataan, will be involved in the rehabilitation efforts.

He also underscored the need to “clean the water source, so as to put an end to pollution.”

“We need to find out where the outfalls come from individually, because in just one estero we can find lots of outfalls,” Cimatu pointed out.

“We have seen the problem closely this time, and we have already laid out a detailed solution,” he added.

The DENR’s goal, he said, is to bring down the coliform level in all esteros to 100 most probable number (MPN) per 100 milliliters (mL).

At the same time, Cimatu said that water concessionaires Maynilad and Manila Water, which are catering to commercial and residential establishments in Metro Manila, will also undergo inspection.

Reforestation of mangrove areas in the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area or LPPCHEA is also included in the rehabilitation plan, he said.

The unveiling of the new Manila Bay rehabilitation plan will be on January 27, in which the DENR will also reveal the establishments initially found to be non-compliant with effluent standards under the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004. ###