Villar wants Senate to look into water quality in Manila Bay


Sen. Cynthia Villar has sought a Senate inquiry into the condition of waste water treatment in Metro Manila, identified as a main factor in the continued quality of water in Manila Bay.
“We still have a long way to go in reviving Manila Bay back to its pristine condition. Sadly, despite our efforts to clean up, water quality in the bay continues to worsen because of poor solid waste management and the lack of facilities for proper waste water disposal,” she said.
The chairman of the Senate committee on environment and natural resources, took note of the recent pronouncements of the chief regulator of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) saying the lack of sewerage facilities in Metro Manila is “10 times worse than Boracay.”
Manila has only 14 percent of its required number of sewerage treatment plants which remove contaminants from the waste water before they are dumped in rivers and bays.
“We want to know what the MWSS and its concessionaire are doing or planning to do to speed up the pace of the installation of sewerage treatment plants in Metro Manila because the next 19 years may be too long and would make the problem irreversible,” the senator said.
In filing resolution No. 747, Villar said the called inquiry, in aid of legislation, will attempt to determine whether or not the concessionaires are actually collecting and using the water utility charges, including the environmental and sewerage charges from their respective consumers in order to fund their sewerage projects.
The senator noted informal settlers at the Port of Manila do not have toilet facilities.
This was also the reason why she initiated a project with the Department of Health (DoH) to provide toilet bowls in Baseco where 5,000 families have no toilets.
“Despite the mandate given to MWSS way back in 1971 and the responsibilities given to its concessionaires more than 20 years ago, Metro Manila is still far from having adequate sewerage facilities, an indication there is a failure of implementation and enforcement of the laws with respect to the provision of adequate sanitation, drainage and sewerage facilities even in Metro Manila; and this amounts to a violation of the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology as the people’s health continues to be in peril,” part of the resolution said.

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