All set for Manila Bay rehabilitation on Sunday - DENR

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The multi-billion peso rehabilitation of Manila Bay will be simultaneous in all areas of Metro Manila, Calabarzon, and Central Luzon, which are all connected to the water body.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 26) — All systems go for the massive rehabilitation of the Manila Bay on Sunday, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said on Friday.

Over 5,000 participants, including national and local government officials, will kickstart the rehabilitation called by Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu as "Battle for Manila Bay."

"This is a battle that will be won not with force or arms but with the firm resolve to bring Manila Bay back to life... With the commitment and determination of every Filipino to do his share in this rehabilitation effort, we have already won the battle for Manila Bay," he said in a statement.

Along with the ceremonial launch, simultaneous cleanup activities will be held in parts of Las Piñas, Navotas, and towns in Bulacan, Bataan, and Pampanga.

The DENR aims to reduce the coliform level in Manila Bay to less than 270 most probable number (MPN) per 100 milliliters (ml) and in all esteros to 100 mpn/100ml. Some parts of the bay are home to a whopping 1.3 billion MPN of coliform for every 100 ml; the safe level is below 200 MPN/100 ml.

Cimatu is also expected to identify establishments initially found to be violating the clean water law.

"We will serve notices of violation to these establishments whose outfalls discharge untreated water to esteros, rivers and other tributaries that flow into Manila Bay," the environment chief said.

At the latter part of the rehabilitation, national and local government officials will also focus on relocating 232,000 illegal settler families around Manila Bay.