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Cleanup of Manila Bay, Laguna Lake in earnest–DENR

Posted by Abi Kwok on August 29, 2008

By Abigail Kwok
First Posted 15:24:00 08/29/2008

MANILA, Philippines — With the demolition of illegal fish pens and cages in Manila Bay underway, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will begin checking factories and other establishments in preparation for cleaning up Laguna de Bay.

In a statement, Secretary Jose Atienza said he has directed the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) to review the environmental compliance certificates (ECCs) issued to factories and other industrial establishments along Laguna de Bay.

He also called on Manila Water Co. to begin constructing wastewater treatment plants to avoid chemical leakage into the freshwater lake, whose waters feed tributaries, notably the Pasig River, which empty into Manila Bay.

“I heard Manila Water’s claim that it has nothing to do with the pollution in Manila Bay because its concession is on Metro Manila’s eastern portion, or along Laguna de Bay. Di ganun din ‘yun. Saan pa ba lalabas ang maruming tubig na nasa Laguna Lake at Pasig River [But it it’s all the same. Where will the dirty water in Laguna Lake and the Pasig River empty]?” he said.

Last week, the DENR demolished 50 fish pens along the coastal waters of the Cavite stretch of Manila Bay.

“We will clean the whole 198-kilometer stretch of Manila Bay, from Cavite to Bataan, of illegal fish pens,” Atienza said. “Then we will look into the operations of factories in Laguna Lake, and we will close down any establishment that causes pollution.’’

As part of its efforts to rehabilitate and clean-up the entire stretch of Manila Bay, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is now working its way to clean up Laguna de Bay, the stretch of Manila Bay between the provinces of Cavite and Bataan.

The Laguna de Bay cleanup will mark the second phase of the Manila Bay rehabilitation project.

The “Manila Bay Area” includes the provinces of Bataan, Bulacan, Pampanga, most of Nueva Ecija, parts of Tarlac, Aurora, Zambales, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and parts of Batangas and Quezon, Nueva Vizcaya, and the 16 cities and one municipality in Metro Manila.

Atienza earlier said the rehabilitation of the entire Manila bay area would cost around P100 billion.

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