MANILA, Philippines – The Manila Bay Rehabilitation Program is in full swing, and could again be fit for swimming by the end of the year, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The agency announced the above during the Congressional hearing on its budget 2020 budget, Php1.5 billion of which will go to efforts to rehabilitate Manila Bay.

As of now, the Manila Bay rehabilitation is in its first phase, which covers monitoring the cleanup and water quality, Environment Undersecretary Juan Miguel Cuna reported.

The Department of Interior and Local Government takes part in the Manila Bay’s weekly cleanup in coordination with Manila’s barangay officials.

“We are strictly monitoring the compliance to this directive along with DILG,” Cuna told the lawmakers.

The DENR is also coordinating with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) to ensure compliance with sewage treatment facilities by the different establishments so that fecal coliform levels are strictly monitored.

The Manila Bay cleanup, dubbed as the “Battle for Manila Bay” started on January 27 of this year.

The DENR also had issued 1,572 Notices of Violation to non-compliant commercial establishments and collected 1.6 million kilograms of solid waste from the cleanup activities. It had also mobilized 48,661 volunteers and inventoried 34,000 informal settler families living along waterways for relocation. (with reports from PNA)

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