By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senator Cynthia Villar is calling for an inquiry into the state of Metro Manila’s waste water treatment and sewerage system, which she identified as the “main factor” in the deterioration of the waters of Manila Bay.
Villar, chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, recently filed Senate Resolution 747 seeking for an inquiry, in aid of legislation, into the condition of waste water treatment in Metro Manila.
“We still have a long way to go in reviving Manila Bay back to its pristine condition. Sadly, despite our efforts to clean up, water quality in the bay continues to worsen because of poor solid waste management and the lack of facilities for proper waste water disposal,” Villar said in filing the measure.
Villar recalled that during the environment panel’s hearing last month on the measures and strategies taken by concerned government agencies to clean up Manila Bay, environmental lawyer Antonio Oposa has referred to Manila Bay “as a toilet bowl used everyday but never gets flushed.”
She also noted the existence of informal settlers in the Port of Manila that do not have toilet facilities.
In the hearing, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) lamented the lack of sewerage facilities in Metro Manila, saying it is “ten times worse” than Boracay as the country’s capital region only has 14 percent of its required number of sewerage treatment plants.