DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu proudly shows to Supreme Court Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta and other government officials, the rehabilitated shores of Baseco Beach on Sunday, 26 January 2020, in Port Area, Manila.
After months of cleanup activities led by DENR National Capital Region, the MMDA, office of Sen. Cynthia A. Villar, DPS-Manila and barangay officials, the sand underneath the once litter-covered beach is finally visible.
Still, environment officials caution everyone from swimming in Baseco as fecal coliform bacteria found in its waters remain unsafe.
According to DENR National Capital Region Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan, while the amount of coliform observed from three monitoring stations in Baseco have significantly gone down, with the lowest reaching around 30,000 MPN/100 mL, it is still unfit for swimming.
The safe level for coliform content, per DENR Administrative Order No. 2016-08 (Water Quality Guidelines and General Effluent Standards), is pegged at 100 MPN/100 mL.
Just the same, Chief Justice Peralta says he is "impressed" by the efforts of DENR and other government agencies involved in the cleanup of Manila Bay, adding that it was the first time he had seen the continuing mandamus issued by the Supreme Court in 2008 actually being implemented in the bay.
DENR, along with other mandamus agencies and partner private and civil society organizations, were in Baseco yesterday to commemorate the first year anniversary of the launching of the #BattleForManilaBay.