DENR National Capital Region and Asian Terminal Inc. (ATI) will soon open a 3-door public toilet it set up in Barangay 649 (Baseco), Port Area, Manila.

The toilet was constructed to address the issue of lack of access to sanitation facilities in Baseco, the largest barangay in the city of Manila with more than 64,750 residents as of May 1, 2020.

“We have partnered with ATI to construct the toilet because we have been receiving reports that people don’t have toilets in their houses, especially those living near Baseco beach and Aplaya area”, Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan explained.

The project, Director Caancan adds, complements other engineering and nature-based interventions that the regional office has implemented in Baseco to mitigate water pollution in the area. “We have installed trash traps and replanted mangroves in the lagoon area to reduce fecal coliform contamination of its waters”, Director Caancan reported.

Baseco sits at the mouth of Pasig River in Manila Bay. As such, it receives pollution that comes from both inland and coastal sources, on top of the waste generated by the community itself. Before the launch of the Battle for Manila Bay in 2019, Baseco served as the poster boy for pollution in Manila Bay.

However, things have changed following regular cleanups initiated by DENR National Capital Region—through its Manila Bay Coordinating Site and Management Office (MBSCMO) and West Field Office (WFO)—in partnership with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), City Government of Manila, and Barangay Baseco.

The condition of the beach area of Baseco has now significantly improved, thanks to the concerted efforts of above-mentioned agencies and partners from the private sector.