DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu ordered the closure of newly found drainage outfalls illegally discharging wastewater in Manila Bay on Monday, 4 January 2021.

Secretary Cimatu came out with the order during the on-site meeting and inspection of the Baywalk area, Malate, Manila with members of the Manila Bay Task Force. Also present during the activity are Atty. Jonas R. Leones, DENR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning, and International Affairs; Director Jacob F. Meimban, Jr. of the Manila Bay Coordinating Office (MBCO); Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan of DENR National Capital Region; Regional Director Domingo M. Clemente of EMB National Capital Region; and representatives from the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (MWSI); and, the City Government of Manila.

Sec. Cimatu likewise directed the regional office through EMB-NCR and the LLDA to conduct a joint inventory of establishments along Roxas Boulevard and to issue Notice of Violations (NOVs) for non-compliant entities. He also directed the regional office to check the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) of the on-going constructions in the area, secure and review the drainage plan of Manila and the list of establishments connected to MWSI from Padre Faura to Manila Yacht Club (MYC).

Director Caancan said that the newly found drainage outfalls in the area would explain the high fecal coliform readings in the waters of Manila Bay despite the many engineering interventions the Department has done in support of the Manila Bay Rehabilitation Program. “We need to be vigilant and circumspect in the conduct of water quality monitoring and enforcement of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act (RA 9003) and Clean Water Act (RA 9275)”, Director Caancan emphasized.