DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu presided the Manila Bay Coordinating Committee’s 1st meeting for CY 2017 last 10 August 2017 held at the Pacific Ballroom, Hotel H20, Manila Ocean Park. The meeting was primarily called to re-affirm the commitments of all the mandamus and concerned agencies, and to further forward all thew efforts and actions for the implementation of the 2017-2022 Operational Plan for the Manila Bay Coastal Strategy (OPMBCS).
The OPMBCS, which outlines the actions and specific projects that would result to the realization of the stakeholders’ shared vision for Manila Bay, has been revised and updated to address the gaps and needs that have donned in the past years of its implementation. It is a product of series of consultations and workshops among the 13 mandamus agencies and other stakeholders. Hon. Justice Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr., Chairman of the Manila Bay Advisory Council (MBAC) approved in principle the OPMBCS when it was presented to the MBAC last 05 May 2017.
On 18 December 2008, the Supreme Court ordered 13 government agencies (referred to as mandamus 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 concerned agencies are the Departments of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Agriculture (DA), Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Education (DepEd), Health (DOH) and Budget and Management (DBM), the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Philippine National Police-Maritime Group (PNP-MG), and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA)
Except for the MMDA, DPWH, DBM and DepEd who failed to send head of agency representative to the meeting, all attendees pledged their commitment to strongly work towards the successful implementation of the OPMBCS and to continually put their best efforts in rehabilitating Manila Bay. The event was also graced by Hon. SC Justice Presbitero Velasco and representatives of Senator Cynthia Villar (Chair, Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources), Cong. Estrelita Suansing (Chair, House Committee on Ecology), partner agencies and other stakeholders.
Four (4) trash boats that will be used for clean-up activities were likewise turned over to the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC), the Provincial Government of Bulacan and the municipalities of Orion, Bataan and Sto. Tomas, Pampanga. PRRC was led by Executive Director Jose E. Goitia, while LGUs of Bulacan and Orion, Bataan was represented by Provincial Administrator Eugenio Payongayong and Mayor Antonio Raymundo, Jr., respectively.