By Rjhay E Laurea
MANILA — Works to fast-track the recovery in the southern part of the Manila Bay region have begun following a partnership signing between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Parañaque City, including Aseana City’s business buildings and lot owners, to clean up the bay’s creeks.
As part of its duty under the DENR’s Adopt-a-Waterbody or Adopt-an-Estero Program, the Aseana City — through its Aseana Business Park Estate Association (ABPEA) — led the clean-up tasks along the Redemptorist Water Channel in Parañaque City.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) gave the tools for the tasks that began in April.
DENR Acting Sec. Jim O. Sampulna welcomed the digging efforts showing a continuous environmental aid with Aseana City and the city gov’t of Parañaque.
“Such partnerships highlight the importance of our partnership with the private sector and local government unit (LGU) in the realization and success of our programs, especially a priority program such as the Manila Bay Rehabilitation,” Sampulna said.
Aseana City is a 107-hectare business district in a reclaimed area that holds many buildings, such as the Ayala Malls, Manila Bay, City of Dreams, and the Passport Center of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Aseana City, through ABPEA — the official organization of locators or lot owners in Aseana City — adopted the 1,404-meter stretch of the Redemptorist Water Channel in June 2013 in response to the government’s call for help from the private sector to improve the state of waterways across the country.
The water channel, which spans barangays Baclaran and Tambo in Parañaque City, was made to ease flooding, certainly in recovered areas.
Asst. Sec. Gilbert Gonzales, who monitors the DENR’s Metropolitan Environmental Offices or MEOs, said that the channel was considered a priority waterway in the area since it is a creek of Manila Bay.
“Cleanup and dredging the Redemptorist Water Channel would not only improve the quality of the water but also reduce, if not prevent, flooding in the area and in surrounding communities especially when rains come,” he said.
Aside from the digging, the ABPEA has been working to have more buildings in its complex join the government’s Adopt-a-Waterbody program to improve water quality in the tributaries of Manila Bay and speed up its rehabilitation.
Under the program, adopters commit to start coordination with other sectors, the community, and other gov’t agencies in starting cleanup tasks and putting up meddlings to improve water quality in the adopted water body.
With Aseana City, the meddlings have included giving boats and setting up steel floaters and bio fences as an aid in piling trash trapped in canals, to add the cleanups by its environmental security personnel.
Its efforts in the Channel have paid off, as the DENR observed a significant decrease in annual fecal coliform levels from 716 million in 2017 to 132 million most probable number per 100 milliliters (mpN/100mL) in 2021.
It was further down to 54,000 in the first quarter of 2022.
The developer has also been cooperating with the DENR’s Metropolitan Environmental Office (MEO) South for other areas of mergers within Parañaque City.
In one of their meetings, which was also attended by the LGU, over 50 pollution control officers (PCOs) of distinct locator buildings in the business park were able to clarify requirements and rules related to wastewater discharge and compliance with environmental laws.
The Adopt-a-Waterbody Program was also offered to the PCOs.(ai/mtvn)