MANILA — The dramatic decrease of coliform levels in certain areas of Manila Bay does not equate to development of the rehabilitation as it still does not address the sources of pollution that deteriorates its marine environment, according to a statement made by the militant fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA).
PAMALAKAYA’s stamens was made in reaction to Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, who announced that levels of fecal coliform bacteria in major outfalls draining into Manila Bay have “drastically decreased” one year after the government started its rehabilitation campaign.
PAMALAKAYA questioned the improvements claim of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), which heads the 13-agency Manila Bay Task Force, saying “ecological and marine disturbances still occur in major fishing areas of the Manila Bay.”
The fisherfolk group recalled the fish kill that hit the southern part of Manila Bay in October last year wherein at least two tons of fish were found floating dead, shellfish species were also affected by the fish kill.
“Ironically, the DENR has been bragging about the improved water quality of Manila Bay and yet, ecological disturbances such as fish kill and constant depletion of fish catch arise. Thus, we raise the question on the effectivity of the government’s ongoing rehabilitation drive that costs the public coffer a whopping amount of P42 billion,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA national chairperson, said.
PAMALAKAYA slammed the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) secretary for “keeping mum” on reclamation projects pending and already approved across Manila Bay. (IAMIGO/CPH)