MANILA - Some malls and hotels surrounding Manila Bay may be closed soon for polluting the bay, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Friday.
Speaking at the Barangay Peace and Order Summit in Leyte, Año said some hotels and malls near the bay might be closed for discharging polluted water that end up in the bay.
“Marami na kaming isinarang mga establishments katulad ng Aristocrat, Gloria Maris at itong week na ito at hanggang next week, may mga hotel at mga mall pa tayong isasara sapagkat ang kanilang water discharge ay bagsak at nagpapalala sa polusyon ng Manila Bay,” Año said.
The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) earlier issued a "cease and desist" order to at least 3 establishments near Manila Bay as the rehabilitation of the heavily polluted body of water kicked off.
Water supply to Aristocrat Restaurant, Gloria Maris Sharksfin, and The Esplanade San Miguel was cut off after the LLDA classified these establishments as sources of “pollutive wastewater” in the bay.
The three establishments were also ordered to pay penalties of up to P200,000 after the inspection by the authorities before the cleanup began showed their facilities were sources of pollution of the capital's scenic harbor.
Meanwhile, 6 more establishments were given notices of violation for allegedly releasing polluted water.
Año said his department has ordered some 5,700 chairmen of barangays surrounding the bay to spearhead cleanup drives that will eliminate solid wastes that end up in the bay.
Leftist lawmakers raised concerns that the Manila Bay rehabilitation might be a prelude for reclamation projects in the bay.
A consortium of Dennis Uy, a Davao-based businessman who maintains close ties with President Rodrigo Duterte, has a P62-billion reclamation project in Pasay City. Other big business groups have separate reclamation proposals.
The rehabilitation of the bay, famous for sunset-watching but plagued by a pollution problem, was set after Duterte warned businesses in the vicinity to comply with environment regulations or face closure.