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Villar lauds inter-agency cleanup of Manila Bay



Sen. Cynthia Villar today lauded the volunteers and government officials who led the launch of the inter-agency campaign to clean and rehabilitate Manila Bay.

Villar, chair of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, said the campaign called "Battle for Manila Bay," provided the needed boost to volunteers who have made it their life's mission to help clean and rehabilitate the historic bay.

"Nakakatuwa na mas marami na ngayon ang involved sa paglilinis ng Manila Bay. Dati pare-parehong mukha ang nandiyan. Nagpapasalamat ako dahil sa inter-agency effort na ito, mas marami ang nakaalam kung gaano kagrabe ang sitwasyon ng Manila Bay ngayon at mas marami ang na-engganyo na tumulong," Villar said.

In a ceremony marking the 10th year anniversary of the issuance of the Supreme Court mandamus on Manila Bay rehabilitation, Villar was recognized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for "her unwavering support and relentless effort in championing the Manila Bay Rehabilitation cause."

Villar initiated two projects in Manila Bay; one is the Las Pinas-Paranaque and Wetland Park where she holds a monthly clean up and tree planting activity. She also pushed for the enactment of a law declaring the park as a protected area, effectively blocking plans for its reclamation.

The other project is in Baseco Compound in Manila. Through the Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance in partnership with the Department of Health, toilets were built for the residents to address open defecation in the area.

Also in Baseco, Villar initiated a mangrove-planting project with Cavitex and DENR as well as livelihood projects such as aquaculture with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, vegetable gardens with the Bureau of Soil and Water Management and recycling project with the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission.

Villar has also called on water concessionaires to speed up the construction of sewerage treatment plants for the proper disposal of wastewater in Metro Manila.

The Nacionalista Party senator also commended the issuance of cease and desist orders by DENR to establishments found to be in violation of the law, saying this shows that the government is bent on improving the quality of water in the bay which now has a coliform level of 330 million MPN.

www.senate.gov.ph