Acting DICT secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr. said the government will deploy monitoring sensors as well as CCTVs to help clean up the Manila Bay over the next few years.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources led the launch, dubbed “Battle for Manila Bay”, on Sunday, January 27, which kicked off efforts from various government and non-government volunteers in rehabilitating the Manila Bay.
Rio, in his speech, said that sensors will be used in monitoring coliform levels of the water that is targeted to be reduced from its current state of around 300 million mpn (most probable number per 100 milliliters) to 100 mpn in an attempt to make the waters swimmable again.
“The coliform content of the Manila Bay is around 300 million [mpn] per 100 mL and it should be reduced to 100 mpn only. What can the DICT do about this? We will be putting up sensors here so that the coliform level can be monitored by the Office of DENR secretary Roy Cimatu,” Rio said.
To stop further pollution, a number of establishments around the bay said to be generating and discharging ‘pollutive’ waste water have been ordered closed.
And as another preventive strategy, the DICT has committed to install CCTV cameras connected to command and control systems of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) along the area to help them apprehend people dumping trash onto the water.
“In coordination with DILG, we will put up CCTV cameras to help the DILG secretary catch the litterers. The important thing here that DICT can provide is connectivity, so that this information would reach the command and control systems of the DILG, of the Philippine National Police,” Rio added.
The ‘Battle for Manila Bay’ is the first of a series of cleanup activities that would simultaneously be done along the whole coast area including parts of Navotas, Bulacan, Bataan, Pampanga and Las Piñas.
According to the DENR, the government has allocated around P42 billion as initial funding for the rehabilitation, which will be undertaken in phases over a period of an estimated seven years.