Mayni­lad help sought for Manila Bay cleanup

Business World - - Corporate News - By Vic­tor V. Saulon Sub-Edi­tor

THE Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Nat­u­ral Re­sources (DENR) has asked Mayni­lad Water Ser­vices, Inc. to par­tic­i­pate in the cleanup of Manila Bay, in­clud­ing the com­pany’s help in bring­ing quick re­sults within the stretch of land fac­ing the sea, the top of­fi­cial of the com­pany said.

“They are seek­ing our as­sis­tance es­pe­cially in the tech­ni­cal side. He wants to get im­me­di­ate im­pact into the Manila Bay­walk — the one kilo­me­ter from the Manila Yacht Club up to the [US] Em­bassy,” Mayni­lad Chief Ex­ec­u­tive and Pres­i­dent Ra­moncito S. Fer­nan­dez said in an in­ter­view on Mon­day.

He was re­fer­ring to En­vi­ron­ment Sec­re­tary Roy A. Ci­matu, who has ini­ti­ated the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of the bay, sim­i­lar to what his of­fice had done to pop­u­lar is­land des­ti­na­tion Bo­ra­cay.

“He’s try­ing to find im­me­di­ate so­lu­tions to pre­vent or to clean up the dis­charge of the three points — sa (at the) Manila Yacht [Club], sa may (near) Malate Church, ‘tsaka sa (and at the) US

Em­bassy,” he added.

Mr. Fer­nan­dez was an­swer­ing ques­tions on the side­lines of the 10th In­ter­na­tional Water As­so­ci­a­tion three-day con­fer­ence on ef­fi­cient ur­ban water man­age­ment at the Mar­riott Ho­tel in Pasay City.

He said Mr. Ci­matu had men­tioned that the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Nat­u­ral Re­sources (DENR) had as­signed heads of spe­cific es­teros to mon­i­tor and “po­lice” the creeks that lead to the Manila Bay.

“The sec­re­tary also rec­og­nizes that the in­for­mal set­tlers in the es­teros are very sig­nif­i­cant con­trib­u­tors to the pol­lu­tion. And we also em­pha­sized to him and he saw it him­self that the water dis­charged from our [Mayni­lad] waste­water treat­ment plants are clean but it is be­ing thrown into a very, very dirty es­tero,” Mr. Fer­nan­dez said.

Sep­a­rately, Mr. Ci­matu said in an in­ter­view that he had talks with lo­cal gov­ern­ment units (LGUs), through the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Manila De­vel­op­ment Author­ity, to ad­dress the is­sue.

“[This is] gov­ern­ment-funded, but there will be some, like for ex­am­ple, there will be some com­pa­nies that will be lend­ing their equip­ment, pro­vid­ing some as­sis­tance to us, in terms of lend­ing some of their ex­perts,” Mr. Ci­matu said when asked about Mayni­lad’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the project.

“The ac­count­abil­ity of the lo­cal gov­ern­ment is they are al­low­ing in­for­mal set­tlers to be stay­ing in es­teros,” he said, adding that lo­cal of­fi­cials had been al­low­ing the struc­tures in no-build zones such as es­teros, “giv­ing them elec­tric­ity, giv­ing them water.”

Mayni­lad is the largest pri­vate water con­ces­sion­aire in the Philip­pines in terms of cus­tomer base. It is the con­ces­sion­aire of the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Water­works and Sew­er­age Sys­tem (MWSS) for the west zone of the greater Manila area.

Maynila Bay­walk is within Mayni­lad’s con­ces­sion area, which is com­posed of Caloocan, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Valen­zuela, Navotas and Mal­abon all in Metro Manila, and some por­tions of the cities of Manila, Que­zon and Makati.

The com­pany also serves Cavite City, and the towns of Ba­coor, Imus, Kawit, Noveleta and Rosario, all in Cavite prov­ince.

“Ang sinasabi niya (What Mr. Ci­matu was say­ing is) since Roxas Boule­vard is un­der Mayni­lad con­ces­sion he is seek­ing our im­me­di­ate help… But def­i­nitely sabi

namin sa kanya (we told him), Manila Bay is com­ing from San Juan River, from Pasig, from Parañaque River etcetera, so he rec­og­nizes that both Manila Water and us are solution providers to the whole con­ces­sion,” Mr. Fer­nan­dez said.

Manila Water Co., Inc., the east zone con­ces­sion­aire of Metro Manila, pro­vides water and used water ser­vices to Man­daluy­ong, Pasig, San Juan, Marik­ina, Pateros, Taguig, Makati, the south­east­ern part of Que­zon City and San An­dres and Sta. Ana in Manila, in­clud­ing sev­eral towns of Rizal prov­ince.

“But he also rec­og­nizes that LGUs are also very, very im­por­tant part of the clean up of Manila Bay,” Mr. Fer­nan­dez said.

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