Senator Cynthia Villar on Tuesday underscored the importance of sewage treatment plants (STPs) in cleaning and rehabilitating the Manila Bay.
Villar, chairperson of the Senate committee on environment and natural resources, called for an improved sewerage system to address the pollution in Manila Bay.
She said that fishermen also depend on Manila Bay for their livelihood. It also acts as a source of fish supply for the National Capital Region and some parts of Cavite and Bataan, she added.
Last July 30, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) opened its first solar-powered STP which is capable of treating 500,000 liters of wastewater per day from the drainage outfalls of Padre Faura, Remedios, and Estero de San Antonio Abad.
The project will ensure that no untreated wastewater from the three major drainage outfalls is released into the Manila Bay, DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu had said.
The DENR plans to build more STPs to handle wastewater from Parañaque River, Tullahan-Tinajeros River, and Las Piñas-Zapote River. Villar said this is a “welcome development.”
Villar likewise appealed to local government units to maintain the cleanliness of rivers within their municipalities to contribute to Manila Bay’s preservation, especially in preventing plastic wastes from flowing into the waters. The Philippines was identified as the third biggest source of plastic leaking into the oceans, she said.
“We should all do our part, not just whenever we can, but as much as we can. All over the world, many things are happening due to environmental destruction, degradation, and neglect,” Villar said.