Hundreds of frolickers and some swimmers were back at the Manila Bay over the weekend after parts of the barrier placed to keep them out of its polluted waters were removed.
The barriers were put up along the shoreline from the US Embassy to Manila Yacht Club by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) after an initial clean-up brought a surge of “tourists” to the bay.
Antipolo starts clean-up of creeks and rivers as its contribution to rehabilitation.
Those who defied a DENR warning that the bay remains polluted and unsafe for swimming entered through a grill fence at the US Embassy that had been taken down.
A DENR undersecretary said a new barrier will soon be installed along the seawall to stop incursions into the shoreline. Parts of the bay without beaches remained fenced off.
The clean-up of Manila Bay and surrounding areas started last 27 January, following the six-month rehabilitation of Boracay Island which ended in October last year.
The quality of water off the bay has started to improve while tons of garbage were collected by volunteers and government workers, the environment department said.
Despite these improvements, it remained unsafe to bathe in Manila Bay due to the very high level of fecal coliform content in the water, the agency said.
Meanwhile, several local government units have started moves to contribute to the rehabilitation of Manila Bay which is famous for its sunset.
The Antipolo City government initiated a clean-up of the city’s creeks, canals and rivers that lead to Manila Bay. Mayor Jun Ynares said this will ensure that no trash from Antipolo would reach Manila Bay.
An estimated 350 volunteers joined hands with the city government in cleaning of Southville 9, Boso-Boso River, Barangay San Jose and Pinugay, Antipolo-Baras, Rizal.
Manila Bay’s rehabilitation could take years and is estimated to cost P47 billion, experts earlier said.