Manila – Monitoring sensors as well as CCTVs will be the tools at the Philippine Government’s disposal in its bid to win the ‘Battle for Manila Bay’. This is according to Acting ICT Secretary Eliseo M. Rio, Jr during the launching ceremonies of the cleanup initiative of Manila Bay.

Headed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the launch dubbed as ‘Battle for Manila Bay’ is a ceremony to kick-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.

Yung coliform content ngayon ng Manila Bay is around 300 million per number [mpn] sa 100 mL, dapat mapababa natin ng 100 mpn per 100 mL lang po. Ano pong magawa ng DICT. Makapaglagay po tayo ng sensors dyan para itong coliform level ay mamonitor sa Office ni Secretary Cimatu” (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 Secretary Cimatu)

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 commits 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, lalagyan po natin ng CCTV cameras para po yung mga nagtatapon ng basura… ay mahuhuli po ng DILG Secretary natin… Ang importante rito ang maibibigay ng DICT ay yung connectivity para umabot sa mga command and control system ng ating DILG, ng ating PNP (Philippine National Police).” (In coordination with DILG, we will put-up CCTV cameras to help the DILG Secretary catch 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).

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 estimated around PHP42-billion as initial funding for the rehabilitation, which will be undertaken in phases over a period of an estimated seven years.