In commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Supreme Court landmark decision ordering 13 government agencies to clean up, rehabilitate, and preserve Manila Bay, and restore and maintain its waters to SB level to make them fit for swimming, skin-diving, and other forms of contact recreation, the Manila Bay Coordinating Office (MBCO) in partnership with the mandamus agencies spearheaded a week-long celebration to showcase the efforts and achievements of 13 agencies to cleanup the bay and what still needs to be done.
It is hope that through these activities (week-long celebration) decision-makers in the public and private sector, as well as ordinary citizens across the social spectrum, will gain an understanding of the responsibility we all have towards the Bay.
The celebration kicked-off with the Manila Bay Coordinating Committee Meeting (MBCC) held last 11 December 2018 at the Heritage Hotel Manila. Presided by DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu (DENR), the mandamus agencies (DA, DBM, DENR, DepEd, DILG, DOH, DPWH, LWUA, MMDA, MWSS PCG, PNP-MG, and PPA) presented their respective achievements based on their individually assigned outputs in the Operational Plan for the Manila Bay Coastal Strategy (OPMBCS) 2017-2022 and their plan and target milestones for 2019. Senior officials in attendance were DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, DILG Undersecretary Martin Diño, MWSS Administrator Reynaldo Velasco and MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim.
On 13 December 2018, the forum “LGU Action for Sanitation: Supporting the Manila Bay Mandamus Order Compliance” was held at the Manila Ocean Park. Representatives from select LGUs within the Manila Bay Area were invited to participate and learn about their responsibilities to the environment as provided for in the Local Government Code (R.A. 7160) and the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004 (R.A. 9275). Likewise, good practices implemented by LGUs and water utilities were shared to serve as an example to the participating LGUs on what a successful wastewater treatment facility is. Technology proprietors under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) also presented their innovations on solving wastewater problems.
Celebrating Manila Bay Day will not be complete without a coastal cleanup. Representatives of mandamus agencies gathered on 14 December 2018 at the Manila Ocean Park amidst rain. 120 sacks of wastes were collected. Afterwards, the opening ceremony for the Manila Bay Day Exhibit “Celebrating a Decade of Partnership: Moving Together towards the Cleanup of Manila Bay” was conducted. The exhibit which ran from 14-18 December 2018 at the Mall Area of the Manila Ocean Park showcased the efforts and compliance of the mandamus agencies to the Supreme Court order on G.R. Nos. 171947-48.
Capping the week-long celebration is the “Siglakasan at Bayanihan Para sa Manila Bay”, a mini-variety show featuring in-house talents of mandamus agencies, audio-visual presentations on environment which aim to educate the public and messages from the heads of mandamus agencies. The highlight of the event is the launching of the Manila Bay Coffee Table Book that shows the different facets of the Bay: The Reach, The Challenge, The Mandate, The Progress, and The Future. It is hoped that through this Coffee Table Book, the people reading it will be reminded of their duty as members of this nation and as stewards of God’s creation, and of their role in securing this renowned landmark coastal treasure.
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