The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) yesterday announced the creation of a task force that will help expedite the rehabilitation and restoration of the coastal and marine ecosystem of Manila Bay.
Under Special Order 2021-17, signed by Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu on 26 January, the creation of the Manila Bay Anti-Pollution Task Force is also meant to ensure compliance with the mandate given by President Rodrigo Duterte pursuant to Administrative Order 16 expediting the rehabilitation and restoration of the coastal and marine ecosystem of Manila Bay and creating the Manila Bay Task Force.
The task force will be headed by Benny Antiporda, DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units (LGU) Concerns, and supported by the Manila Bay Coordinating Office, River Basin Control Office, Pasig River Coordinating and Management Office, National Water Resources Board, Laguna Lake Development Authority and Environmental Management Bureaus in Regions 3, 4-A and National Capital Region.
Cimatu said the task force was created to ensure compliance of all government facilities and private establishments within the entire Manila Bay Region relative to their connection to existing sewerage systems or the construction of their individual sewerage plant, whatever is applicable, as well as recommend for the issuance of appropriate orders, imposition of fines, penalties, and other administrative sanctions to compel compliance thereof.
It is also tasked to spearhead the undertaking of remedial measures using engineering and technological interventions to improve the water quality of the Manila Bay.
It will also strictly monitor the enforcement of Sections 16 and 19 of Republic Act 9275, or the Clean Water Act.