Manila Bay hotels warned: ‘Clean up waste or risk getting closed’

A child floats on a makeshift raft made of discarded boards and styrofoam as she collects recyclable plastic bottles drifting with garbage along the coast of Manila Bay at the slum area in the Baseco Compound, Manila, Oct. 16, 2017. REUTERS

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte ordered hotels operating near the Manila Bay to observe environmental rules by installing water treatment facilities or risk being closure.

In a speech during the Barangay Summit on Peace and Order at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City, Duterte said the establishments should do something with their waste as they were ordered to start the cleanup on the heavily polluted body of water.

“Whether they like it or not, lahat itong, itong mga hotel, ‘yung palabas niyong mga tae ng mga turista, lagyan niyo ng water treatment kung hindi pasarahan ko iyan,” Duterte said.

He added: “You do something about your waste there, otherwise we will close it. Sirain ko ‘yan. Wag mo nga akong hamunin. Kung wala tayong turista eh di wala.”

Duterte also said he has ordered Interior secretary Eduardo Año and Environment secretary Roy Cimatu to spearhead the cleanup in Manila Bay, which might last until after Duterte’s term.

Garbage from nearby provinces is often blamed for the pollution of the Manila Bay. Trash usually piles up on the breakwater and even further inland into Roxas Boulevard during typhoons.

The government is eyeing the use of revenue from the road user’s tax to fund the rehabilitation of Manila Bay. Some P47 billion will be needed to clean up Manila Bay, according to Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

The rehabilitation will require the relocation of thousands of illegal settlers, whose household waste contribute to 70 percent of pollution in the area.

The Pasig River and Laguna Lake, which both flow into Manila Bay, will also have to be cleaned up./PN


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