Philippine Daily Inquirer - - METRO - By Aie Balag­tas See @ABalag­tasSeeINQ

The Manila City gov­ern­ment has an­nounced plans to build two wa­ter treat­ment plants in­side Manila Zoo which was ear­lier tagged by the De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Nat­u­ral Re­sources as a ma­jor pol­lu­tant of Manila Bay.

To fast-track the pro­ject, city ad­min­is­tra­tor Jojo Al­coven­daz said that the lo­cal gov­ern­ment might do away with the bid­ding process.

In a phone in­ter­view on Sun­day, Al­coven­daz told the In­quirer that the lo­cal gov­ern­ment hoped to build the wa­ter treat­ment fa­cil­i­ties within three to four months.

“I’m tak­ing full re­spon­si­bil­ity for this. We didn’t know that the zoo does not have its own wa­ter treat­ment fa­cil­i­ties,” he said.

Emer­gency case

He added: “I’m look­ing at this as an emer­gency case. So maybe we will skip the pro­to­col.”

Last week, En­vi­ron­ment Sec­re­tary Roy Ci­matu tagged the city gov­ern­ment-op­er­ated zoo as one of the ma­jor pol­lu­tants of Manila Bay, which was set to un­dergo re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion later this month.

Dur­ing an in­spec­tion, Ci­matu said that the zoo, which sits on a 5.5-hectare area, had been drain­ing un­treated sewage into one of the es­tu­ar­ies lead­ing to the bay.

Es­tero de San An­to­nio Abad “reg­is­tered the high­est co­l­iform level drain­ing into the bay,” he added.

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