Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Acting Secretary Jim O. Sampulna vowed to continue the rehabilitation of Manila Bay as part of the legacy of the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

Sampulna expressed his commitment as he commended the gains made by former DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu to the ongoing restoration of Manila Bay.

"In rehabilitating Manila Bay and its coastal and marine ecosystems, our focus is on improving the bay’s water quality. We are looking at completing the second phase of the beach nourishment project, while further reducing fecal coliform levels to make the bay safe for swimming, boating, and other forms of contact recreation," Sampulna said in a press conference held at the DENR Central Office on February 28.

The DENR is focused on attaining the 100 most probable number per 100 milliliters (MPN/100 mL) of fecal coliform level for Class SB waters to make Manila Bay fit for swimming, skin-diving, and other forms of contact recreation.

Before the rehabilitation of Manila Bay started in January 2019, the fecal coliform level in the Baywalk area was 1.26 billion MPN/100 mL.

However, as of August 2021, fecal coliform in the same area has dropped to 7,000 MPN/100 mL.

"If you will recall, when we started rehabilitating Manila Bay, the result of the water quality in that area ranges from millions to billions," DENR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs Atty. Jonas R. Leones said.

"Nasa thousands na tayo, medyo malayo-layo pa, but [we’re] confident na magtuloy-tuloy ‘yun so hopefully by the end of the Duterte administration, we can meet the standard in terms of water quality," he added.

Leones noted that part of the rehabilitation activities includes dredging and inspecting the drainage systems of establishments surrounding the area and installing a water pump to divert wastewater to a sewage treatment plant before being discharged to Manila Bay. ###