Around 550 sacks of garbage were retrieved along Manila Bay at the Baseco Compound in Tondo, Manila, during a recent cleanup activity held Wednesday (Feb. 6, 2019) spearheaded by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

A joint undertaking by the Task Force DENR Metro Manila (TF-DEMM) and Manila’s Barangay 469, the cleanup activity was participated in by hundreds of volunteers, mostly residents of Barangay 469 led by their chieftain Diana Espinosa.

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has tasked TF-DEMM to put in place measures to control the discharge of pollutants in the area to support the ongoing rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

The sacks of garbage were collected from a kilometer-long coastline area facing the Manila Bay, covering the west south side of the 56-hectare Baseco compound which houses around 59,000 individuals.

According to TF-DEMM, the clean-up was part of the strategy to bring down the pollution levels in Manila Bay as Baseco has been identified as one of major contributors to the high fecal coliform level in the bay area.

Water samples from the DENR’s 13 water quality monitoring stations in Baseco registered high levels of fecal coliform count, the highest of which taken near the barangay hall at 7.9 million Most Probable Number (MPN) per 100 milliliter.

Aside from conducting cleanup activities, the DENR is also looking at ways to address the problem of informal settlers in the area. ###