“There is reason to celebrate because a year after we launched the ‘Battle for Manila Bay,’ we have recorded improvements in the water quality from major drainage outfalls,” said DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu, who chairs the Manila Bay Task Force.
Edd Gumban/ File
Manila Bay’s coliform levels drop – DENR
Rhodina Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - January 25, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The levels of fecal coliform bacteria in the major outfalls draining into Manila Bay have “drastically decreased” a year after the government started a rehabilitation drive, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) reported yesterday.

“There is reason to celebrate because a year after we launched the ‘Battle for Manila Bay,’ we have recorded improvements in the water quality from major drainage outfalls,” said DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu, who chairs the Manila Bay Task Force.

Before the rehabilitation kicked off on Jan. 26 last year, the DENR recorded extremely high fecal coliform levels from major Manila Bay outfalls.

Cimatu said the most recent data from the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) showed that the coliform levels have “drastically decreased.”

Citing EMB data, Cimatu said the fecal coliform count at the Padre Faura outfall is down to 920,000 most probable number per 100 milliliters from its pre-rehabilitation record of 7.21 million mpn/100 ml.

The coliform level at the Rajah Soliman/Remedios drainage outfall across Aristocrat restaurant dropped to 11 million mpn/100 ml from 35 million mpn/100 ml.

At the Manila Yacht Club outfall, the coliform level was reported to be 54 million mpn/100 ml from a high of 110 million mpn.

Despite these improvements, Cimatu said more needs to be done to bring the level down to 100 mpn/100 ml to make the waters of the bay clean enough for swimming.

Last year, over 10,000 volunteers joined a cleanup activity along Roxas Boulevard in Manila and other areas in the bay region to kick off the “Battle for Manila Bay” on Jan. 26, 2019 to fulfill an order issued by the Supreme Court in 2008.

President Duterte has allocated P42.95 billion for the implementation of the Manila Bay rehabilitation project within three years and at least 13 government agencies are working together to carry out the mission.

The DENR is set to inaugurate a sewage interceptor and treatment plant located in front of the Manila Yacht Club tomorrow. The facility, which is capable of treating 500,000 liters of wastewater per day, will ensure that no untreated wastewater from the drainage outfalls flows into the bay.

DENR MANILA BAY ROY CIMATU
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