Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has ordered an investigation of the hotels and establishments in the Manila Bay area after discoloration on the waters of the bay was observed last Thursday.

“We suspect that this sudden color change from the previous dark blue to turquoise blue is caused by the direct discharge of wastewater from the treatment plants of buildings and establishments in the vicinity,” Cimatu said.

The environment chief made the statement after he personally inspected the baywalk near SM Mall of Asia (MOA) on March 28 to check the color of the waters of the bay in the area.

Cimatu also inspected Outfall No. 3 located near SM MOA to check the wastewater discharged by the outfall, and instructed the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) National Capital Region and the Environmental Management Bureau “to conduct a joint investigation on the sudden color change of Manila Bay.”

At the same time, the environment chief instructed Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units Concerns Benny D. Antiporda “to monitor the investigation that will be conducted by the two offices.”

“We assure the public that the incident is now being investigated by the DENR to find out who is responsible for the discoloration,” said Cimatu adding that “once the investigation is completed, appropriate and immediate actions will be taken on who or what caused the incident.”

Last week, a netizen uploaded a video of the historic bay with turquoise blue waters in the social media platform Facebook after noticing the change of its color.

Cimatu is chair of the Manila Bay Inter Agency Task Force tasked to clean the historic bay dubbed as ‘Battle for Manila Bay’. The Manila Bay rehabilitation is a top priority of the government until 2022. ###