The Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ anti-pollution task force has convened to expedite the rehabilitation of Manila Bay to stop its further pollution.
Secretary Roy Cimatu said the Manila Bay Anti-Pollution Task Force had already started work to develop a comprehensive approach that would hasten the rehabilitation and restoration of the coastal and marine ecosystem of Manila Bay.
“We have to get down to business and jumpstart the task force as we mark the second year of the Battle for Manila Bay,” he said.
On Feb. 3, Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units Concerns Benny Antiporda, task force chief, had their first meeting.
He emphasized the importance of the task force’s work to complement the actions taken by Cimatu as chairperson of the Manila Bay Task Force.
“The issue of pollution is the core of the Battle for Manila Bay. We are here to provide support to the Secretary and the MBTF,” he said.
“The main objective is to stop further pollution in the whole of the Manila Bay region. By hook or by crook, we will stop them (polluters). We can defy these environmental issues.”
Antiporda directed the Pasig River Coordinating and Management Office to examine the riverbanks of the Pasig River for illegal drainage pipes and to trace their sources from the Laguna de Bay outlet in Napindan Channel all the way to Manila Bay.
He tasked the River Basin Control Office to identify the rivers where trash traps could be installed to prevent solid waste from polluting the waterways further downstream.
“I am optimistic that with the help of this task force, we can at least minimize pollution coming from the rivers and creeks,” he said.
On Jan. 6, the DENR chief created the MBAPTF pursuant to the mandate of Administrative Order 16 issued by the Office of the President for the rehabilitation and restoration of Manila Bay.