SC orders govt agencies to clean up Manila Bay


Posted at Dec 18 2008 06:05 PM | Updated as of Dec 19 2008 02:05 AM

The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday has ordered various government agencies to clean-up Manila Bay.

In a 36-page resolution penned by Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco, the high court ordered various agencies including Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to implement measures to clean up Manila Bay.

The resolution said the government agencies should immediately act. It also ordered each of the agencies to submit a quarterly progress report to the SC.

The high court even gave details on what the agencies should do under the Operational Palm for the Manila Bay Coastal Strategy.

The resolution stemmed from a petition filed by some concerned residents of Manila Bay, initially to a Cavite Regional Trial Court where they won and up to the Court of Appeals.

The government agencies had earlier filed an appeal to the SC but the high court dismissed their motion and sided with the lower court’s decision that the agencies act on the Manila Bay clean up. Marieton Pacheco, ABS-CBN News

Some details of the SC resolution ordering government agencies to implement the following:

- To direct all local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila, Rizal, Laguna, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga and Bataan to inspect all factories, commercial establishments and private homes along the banks of major river systems and waterways that eventually discharge water to Manila Bay

- To determine whether they have waste water treatment facilities as prescribed by law, if none to order these LGUs to set up such facilities or septic tanks

Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System
- to provide, install, operate and maintain the necessary adequate waste water treatment facility in Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite where needed as soon as possible

Department of Agriculture (through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources)
- To improve and restore marine life of Manila Bay

Philippine Coast Guard and Philippine National Police Maritime Group
- to coordinate and apprehend violators of existing laws and regulations designed to prevent marine pollution of Manila Bay

Philippine Ports Authority
- To immediately adopt measures to prevent dumping of solid and liquid wastes and other ship generated wastes into Manila Bay's water from vessels docked at port

- To dismantle and remove all structures and constructions along the Pasig-Marikina-San Juan rivers, National Capital Region rivers, Navotas-Malabon-Tullahan-Tenejeros rivers and other connecting waterways and esteros in Metro Manila

- To establish and operate sanitary landfill within period of one year from finality of this decision

Department of Public Works and Highways
- To dismantle and remove all structures and constructions along rivers in Bulacan, Bataan and Cavite

Department of Justice
- within one year of finality of this decision to determine if all licensed septic and sludge companies have proper facilities for treatment and disposal of wastes coming from septic tanks

- To integrate lessons on pollution prevention waste management and the like in the school curricula

- to consider incorporating adequate budget in 2010 and succeeding years to cover expenses relating to clean up and restoration of Manila Bay