MANILA The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is urging participants of the Manila Bay rehabilitation launch at the Baywalk area on Sunday to use reusable containers in packing food and water.
"We're encouraging them to bring their own reusable containers, like bottles for water they'll drink during the launch," DENR Strategic Alliance and Environmental Partnership Division Chief Raymond Virgino said.
Virgino said they are promoiting reusables as plastic and paper containers people discard after use may end up at the Manila Bay, polluting its water and increasing the volume of trash.
Participants can request water and refill their containers at drinking stations of private water concessionaire Manila Water Company, Inc., which serves the Baywalk area, he noted.
"Drinking from and packing food in reusable containers instead will help reduce such volume and pollution in Manila Bay," he said.
Authorities continue to warn against diseases that could be contracted from Manila Bay's waters as the DENR said the decades-long flow of solid waste and untreated discharges into this water body has raised the level of coliform bacteria there to more than 330 million most probable number (MPN) per 100 milliliters.
The safe coliform level is 100 MPN per 100 milliliters only, according to the DENR.
The DENR and its rehabilitation partners aim to bring down coliform levels in Manila Bay to the safe level. According to experts, coliform bacteria can be found in human and animal feces and coliform-contaminated water has the potential to cause disease.
Rehabilitating Manila Bay is aligned with the Supreme Court's 2008 decision ordering 13 agencies to clean up, rehabilitate and preserve Manila Bay.
Virgino said the DENR has invited various stakeholders, such as other agencies, LGUs, industry players, and schools to join the event.
DENR personnel and others who will join the launch will assemble at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park at 6 a.m. for their solidarity walk to the Baywalk area where there will be a program, he added.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, Interior Secretary Eduardo AAo, and Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat are expected to deliver their respective messages during the program.
Cimatu is also scheduled to declare the official start of Manila Bay's rehabilitation. There will be simultaneous clean-up activities in the National Capital Region, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency