This file photo shows the rehabilitation of the polluted Manila Bay, which kicked off last January 27.
The STAR/Walter Bollozos, File
Duterte creates task force to hasten Manila Bay clean-up
( - February 21, 2019 - 11:06am

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte created a task force that would speed up the rehabilitation and restoration of Manila Bay.

Duterte ordered the creation of the task force through Administrative Order 16, which was signed Tuesday by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and released to reporters Thursday.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu will chair the Manila Bay Task Force, while Tourism Secretary Bernadette Puyat and Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año will serve as vice chairs.

Its members include chiefs of Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Health, Department of Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, Metro Manila Development Authority, Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission, Local Water Utilities Administration, Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System, Philippine National Police Maritime Group, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Ports Authority, as well as representatives of the Manila Water Company Inc. and MAYNILAD Water Services.

The task force is ordered to enforce relevant laws to ensure the rehabilitation and conservation of Manila Bay, improve its water quality, implement a comprehensive plan for massive relocation of informal settler families, facilitate information drive on Manila Bay clean-up, among others.

The chief executive also ordered local government units in Metro Manila, especially those along Manila Bay, and governors in the provinces of Bataan, Pampanga, Bulacan and Cavite to ensure implementation of critical environmental laws and other relevant laws.

“The convergence of national government agencies and LGUs in the Manila Bay region and the active participation of private and public stakeholders are necessary to facilitate the robust and integrated implementation of all rehabilitation and restoration efforts at the Manila Bay,” he said.  

Manila Bay became the government’s “next big target” after the rehabilitation of Boracay. The government’s cleanup of the polluted bay kicked off last January 27. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

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