Some 5,000 individuals from multi-sectoral groups, government agencies, schools and non-government organizations attended and participated in the launch of the Manila Bay Rehabilitation Program.
Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu together with the cabinet secretaries of different key agencies led the program and officially declared the start of the long overdue rehabilitation project.
“We cannot afford to prolong this cleanup activity because this has long been neglected…
Manila Bay is not a lost cause,” the former AFP chief said.
This rehabilitation effort reinforces a Supreme Court continuing mandamus issued on December 18, 2008 compelling 13 government agencies to spearhead the rehabilitation of the historic water landmark.
The 13 Mandamus agencies are as follows:
- Department of Environment and Natural Resources
- Department of Interior and Local Government
- Department of Education
- Department of Health
- Department of Agriculture
- Department of Public Works and Highways
- Department of Budget and Management
- Philippine Coast Guard
- Philippine National Police – Maritime Group
- Philippine Ports Authority
- Metropolitan Manila Development Authority
- Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System
- Local Water Utilities Administration
According to Cimatu, the rehabilitation does not only involve cleanup, but also the relocation of illegal settlers.
President Rodrigo Duterte approved the Manila Bay Rehabilitation Plan earlier this month and gave a budget allocation of P42.95 billion for three years.