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Legarda Asks NEDA: Help Restore Ecological Integrity of Manila Bay

October 14, 2016

Senator Loren Legarda has asked the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to take a proactive role in ensuring the sustainability of the Manila Bay through the restoration of the bay’s ecological integrity.

During the hearing for the proposed 2017 budget of NEDA, Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, said that while there may be a need to construct more cemented cities, the priority should be ensuring that present cities are sustainable.

“Before we even think of reclaiming a portion of Manila Bay again, either for commercial or residential purposes, let us first check the living condition of communities around the bay. Almost eight years after the Supreme Court issued a Writ of Continuing Mandamus for the rehabilitation of Manila Bay, what have we done so far?”

Legarda asked NEDA to meet with the Manila Bay Coordinating Office (MBCO) to review the development plan for the Manila Bay.

“We should have a sustainable restoration program for the Bay which should include the strict enforcement of laws such as the Clean Water Act and the Ecological Solid Waste Management (ESWM) Act,” she said.

The Senator added that all 178 local government units (LGUs) in the Manila Bay area should enforce the ESWM Law and have a materials recovery facility (MRF) and sewage system so that waste are not dumped on the bay.

“We should not use our bays and rivers as sewerage or garbage bins. What would our children and grandchildren say of us—that we destroyed our natural treasures and left them with polluted rivers and bays? Let us implement our environmental laws, plant mangroves or restore coral reefs, whichever is applicable. It would even be ideal if we have walkways and bike lanes around Manila Bay so that more people would realize the abundance of our natural resources and the beauty of what we have. Let us all work together to bring back the bounty of Manila Bay and restore its ecological integrity,” Legarda concluded.