Atienza laments Manila Bay several times “filthier” than before

  • Deputy Speaker Lito Atienza noted how the Manila Bay is filthier than before
  • He noted how their study showed an increased number of coliform, suggesting the heavy presence of bacteria and virus
  • Atienza stressed the need to decontaminate the bay from uncontrolled outflow of human sewage

Deputy Speaker Lito Atienza lamented how Manila Bay is now several times “filthier” than before.

Image by GMA

Atienza recalled how 22 years ago, a civil action was launched that led to a Supreme Court order forcing 13 agencies to clean up Manila Bay. Since then, the condition of the water has turned worse.

“We checked court records. Water samples taken from Manila Bay way back in 1999 showed fecal coliform counts of 50,000 to 80,000 most probable number (MPN) per milliliter (ml),” Atienza said in a statement.

“In contrast, based on the most recent water samples taken from major outfalls along Roxas Boulevard, fecal coliform counts now range anywhere from 11 million to 54 million MPN per ml,” he added.

According to Atienza, the findings suggest that there is a heavy presence of bacteria or virus in the water. This might pose a risk to the nearby residents as it may cause diseases such as typhoid fever, viral and bacterial gastroenteritis and hepatitis A.

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“This is really not surprising because up to now, of the 16.3 million water-served population in Metro Manila, only 15 percent or 2.4 million are connected to a sewerage system,” Atienza pointed out.

The lawmaker stressed that this finding is proof that the bulk of Metro Manila’s household toilet waste continues to drain into waterways, including the Pasig River, that all empty out into the bay every day. Atienza stressed that uncontrolled outflow of human sewage should be stopped to decontaminate Manila Bay.