The government warned it will close establishments that have contributed to pollution in Manila Bay amid rehabilitation efforts at the bay, local reports said, quoting the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
“There are hotels and even malls we will order closed due to their water discharge failing [standards] and worsening pollution on Manila Bay,” DILG Eduardo Año said in a speech at the Barangay Summit on Peace and Order in Palo, Leyte.
Last week, the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) ordered the closure of Aristocrat and Gloria Maris in Manila and The Esplanade (San Miguel by the Bay) in Pasay City as these restaurants were found to be dumping untreated wastewater into Manila Bay.
The agency also issued notices of violations to an inn, a seaside restaurant, and establishments under the SM Group of Companies.
Local governments may face possible administrative and criminal liabilities if found guilty of issuing permits to errant entities, Año said.
Meanwhile, no swimming activity will be allowed in Manila Bay if the two water concessionaires of Metro Manila – Manila Water Co. Inc. and Maynilad Water Services Inc. - will not construct waste water facilities.
Deputy Minority Leader and Buhay Partylist Representative Lito Atienza said no cleanup initiative will suffice until both water firms comply with provisions of their concession agreement with the government.
Atienza dared the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to “drink a spoonful” of the bay water if they are certain the water body has been cleansed.
“What is worse is they have been charging consumers for this non-existent service for the past 21 years!” said Atienza, former Environment secretary.
“This waste-water treatment facility should be treating, processing and cleaning sewage from over two million households and commercial establishments before it is released into the bay. The bay has suffered from the lack of these facilities,” he added.