Manila Bay is considered one of the best harbors in Southeast Asia. Its geographical location, facing the South China Sea, makes it a perfect natural harbor. It enables trade and commerce between the Philippines and other countries, thus creating income opportunities for thousands of Filipinos.
Aside from its contribution to the economy, Manila Bay is famous for its sunset, which is considered one of the best in the world. It is one of the historic sites in the country where the famous Spanish-American War via the Battle of Manila Bay took place in 1898.
The bay is located at the southwest portion of Luzon Island. It has a 190-kilometer coastline and a drainage area covering 1,994 square kilometers or 199,400 hectares.
The Manila Bay Area covers eight provinces and 178 local government units.
Four of the eight provinces are coastal — Bataan, Bulacan, Cavite and Pampanga, while four are non-coastal — Laguna, Nueva Ecija, Rizal and Tarlac.
There are 17 principal river systems draining into Manila Bay:
Angat, Bocaue, Sta. Maria, Marilao, Meycauayan, Obando, Talisay, Guagua and Pampanga Rivers (Region 3).
Meycauayan-Valenzuela, Pasig, Parañaque and Malabon-Navotas-Tullahan-Tinajeros Rivers (NCR).
Imus, Ylang-ylang, Rio Grande and Cañas Rivers (Region 4a).
Almost 233,000 informal settler families are residing along the waterways of the Manila Bay area, directly discharging their wastes into the sea.
Manila Bay has a fecal coliform level of 330 million MPN/100mL.
The government aims to reduce its current fecal coliform level to 100 MPN/100mL to make it fit for swimming, skin diving and other recreational activities or Class SB.
The major river outfalls in Metro Manila that drain into Manila Bay:
Jones Station (Pasig River)
San Antonio de Abad Station
Macapagal Bridge 1 Station
Macapagal Bridge 2 Station
Macapagal Bridge 3 Station
Coastal Bridge 1 Station
Coastal Bridge 2 Station
Zapote River Drive Station
There are 309 water tributaries (esteros and creeks) in Metro Manila that drain into Manila Bay and these cover a total area of 10,850,531.81 square meters.
Three major river systems in Manila Bay:
PAMARISAN River System (Pasig, Marikina, and San Juan River Systems)
The rehabilitation of Manila Bay or “Battle for Manila Bay” was launched on 27 January 2019 when around 10,000 people from various government agencies, private organizations, environmentalists and other stakeholders gathered at Quirino Grandstand, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan and Cavite to show unity in bringing back the former glory of the bay.
On 19 February 2019, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte inked Administrative Order 16 “Expediting the rehabilitation and restoration of the coastal and marine ecosystem of the Manila Bay and creating the Manila Bay Task Force.”
Composition of Task Force Manila Bay
Chair: Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
Vice Chair: Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)
Department of Tourism (DOT)
Members: Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)
Department of Health (DOH)
Department of Agriculture (DA)
Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC)
Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA)
Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC)
Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA)
Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS)
Philippine National Police (PNP)-Maritime Group
Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)
Philippine Ports Authority (PPA)
Manila Water Company, Inc. (Manila Water)
MAYNILAD Water Services, Inc. (MAYNILAD).
Manila Bay Rehabilitation Plan has seven key result areas in which the Task Force has to work on:
KRA 1 – Liquid Management
KRA 2 – Solid Waste Management
KRA 3 – Social Preparation and Relocation
KRA 4 – Habitat and Ecosystems Management
KRA 5 – Rule of Law
KRA 6 – Strategic Communication, Education and Mobilization
KRA 7 – Manila Bay Sustainable Development Master Plan (MBSDMP)