MWSS assures full compliance with SC mandamus on Manila Bay rehab

THE Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) fully supports the plan to rehabilitate Manila Bay and is working to ensure full compliance with the Supreme Court’s continuing mandamus among its private water concessionaires.

MWSS Administrator Reynaldo V. Velasco met separately with officials of Manila Water Corp. and Maynilad Water Services Inc. to discuss ways to fast-track the two concessionaires’ compliance with a 10-year-old Supreme Court order.

Velasco is asking the two private water concessionaires to adjust their targets for the years 2022-2037.

MWSS is among 13 government agencies named in the SC continuing mandamus to report once every three months on the progress of the government cleanup of Manila Bay to make it swimmable.

Aside from the SC’s continuing mandamus, the rehabilitation of Manila Bay is in accordance with the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004, or Republic Act 9275, whose coverage includes water quality management in all bodies of water, including the “abatement and control of pollution from land-based sources.”

“This is a welcome move by all parties concerned led by Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu. As I have always emphasized in various fora, cleaning up Manila Bay is everybody’s concern to include ordinary Filipinos who must embrace self-discipline as a way of life,” Velasco said in a statement.

He added:  “The two concessionaires have agreed to fast-track their road map [in] full compliance [with] the SC mandamus.”

Velasco admitted that at present, only 15 percent of water consumers are connected to sewer lines and as provided in the concession agreement, full sewer and sanitation coverage should be 100 percent by 2037.

“There was much focus on securing delivery of efficient potable water system over the last 22 years from only 53-percent coverage to 97-percent coverage in Metro Manila and adjoining provinces, such as Rizal and Cavite,” Velasco said. On sewer coverage alone, Manila Water started only with 3 percent in 1997, when it took over the East Zone, he said.

“Now it has 20-percent coverage for facilities, which is [a] seven times increase. Maynilad is now operating its P1.7-billion sewage-treatment plant in San Dionisio, Parañaque, as part of its stepped-up support for  the Manila Bay cleanup,” Velasco said.

To implement its wastewater management program, Manila Water, the East Zone concessionaire, has its Used Water Master Plan.

mm

Jonathan L. Mayuga

Jonathan L. Mayuga is a journalist for more than 15 years. He is a product of the University of the East – Manila. An awardee of the J. G. Burgos Biotech Journalism Awards, BrightLeaf Agricultural Journalism Awards, Binhi Agricultural Journalism Awards, and Sarihay Environmental Journalism Awards.
mm