(SALUTATIONS)

GOOD MORNING TO ALL OF YOU.

WE IN INTERAGENCY TASK FORCE OF MANILA BAY, AND THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES ARE PROUD TO LEAD THIS YEAR’S CELEBRATION OF INTERNATIONAL COASTAL CLEAN-UP DAY.

WE SHARE THE DREAM OF TRASH-FREE SEAS AND OCEANS. BUT WE ARE DOING MORE THAN JUST DREAM. WE ARE WORKING HARD TO MAKE THE DREAM A REALITY, AS QUICKLY AS WE CAN.

BACK IN 2008, OUR SUPREME COURT HAD ALREADY ISSUED A WRIT OF CONTINUING MANDAMUS THAT ORDERED 13 GOVERNMENT AGENCIES TO CLEAN UP MANILA BAY AND RESTORE ITS WATER QUALITY TO A LEVEL FIT FOR SWIMMING AND BATHING.
IT WAS NOT UNTIL JANUARY 2019, HOWEVER, WITH IMPETUS FROM PRESIDENT RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE, THAT WE REALLY GOT ROLLING.
WE LAUNCHED THE BATTLE FOR MANILA BAY, WITH THE DENR AT THE HELM OF AN INTER-AGENCY TASK FORCE CREATED FOR THE PURPOSE.
WE ARE CLEANING UP NOT JUST THE COASTS, BUT ALSO THE UPSTREAM SOURCES OF TRASH. AND THE CLEANUP WILL NOT END WITH A SHORT-TERM SNAPSHOT OF A TRASH-FREE BAY.

OUR MASTER PLAN REALLY OR OUR TOTAL EFFORT AGAINST THIS TOTAL REHABILITATION OF MANILA BAY-- THE NUMBER ONE OR STEP ONE IS COASTAL CLEANUP AND GARBAGE AND WATER QUALITY IMPROVEMENT OR REHABILITATION WHICH WE ARE DOING NOW; INALIS NATIN YUNG GARBAGE AT SAKA INAYOS NATIN YUNG WATER QUALITY.

THE SECOND ONE IS THE RESETTLEMENT OF INFORMAL SETTLERS WHO’S STAYING IN THE ESTEROS AND IN THE PASIG RIVER. ANG THIRD IS EDUCATION AND SUSTAINMENT. EDUCATION OR BEHAVIOR CHANGE IS THE MOST DIFFICULT. ITO ANG PINAKAMAHIRAP DITO SA MASTER PLAN NATIN—KUNG PAANO NATIN MA-SUSTAIN ANG PAGLINIS AT SAKA PAGBAGO SA ATING UGALI AT NG IBANG TAO.

THE CLEANUP SHALL BE CONTINUING AND SUSTAINED. BY REFORMING SOCIAL ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIOR TOWARDS PROACTIVE ENVIRONMENTAL CITIZENSHIP, AND INSTITUTIONALIZING THESE REFORMS CULTURALLY, THE CLEAN UP WILL BE CONTINUING, IF NOT PERPETUAL.
NAPAKAHALAGANG MABAGO ANG KULTURA AT PAG-UUGALI NG MGA TAO UPANG TULUYANG MAISAKATUPARAN ANG REHABILITASYON NG MANILA BAY.

FOR EXAMPLE, THE CULTURE OF SOME PEOPLE-- TANUNGIN KO KAYO--‘PAG KUMAKAIN KAYO SA FASTFOOD KATULAD NG MCDONALD’S O JOLLIBEE, PAGKATAPOS NIYO KUMAIN DYAN, KAUNTI LANG NAGDADALA NG KINAINAN NIYA SA GARBAGE BIN; MAS MARAMING INIIWANAN NILA YUNG KINAINAN.

TANUNGIN NATIN ANG SARILI NATIN—KUNG BAKIT HINDI NATIN NILALAGAY DOON. EH DATI, GANOON YUNG CULTURE NATIN, EH. TAYO LANG YATA RITO SA MUNDONG ITO NA NAG-IIWAN DYAN SA MGA PINAGKAINAN. PUNTA KA SA U.S., PERU, SOME COUNTRIES IN ASIA--DINADALA, WALANG MAKITANG NAIWANAN DYAN SA MESA. THIS IS AN EXACT EXAMPLE OF CULTURE CHANGE NA GUSTO NATIN MABAGO.
LAPITAN NATIN MGA ANAK NATIN. ITURO NATIN NA DALHIN YUNG KINAINAN NIYA DOON SA GARBAGE BIN. DAHAN-DAHAN MABABAGO NATIN ANG CULTURE NA ‘YAN.

SA PAGTATAPON NAMAN NG MGA TAO SA ESTEROS-- NAKITA KO TALAGA, NA YUNG PUMUPUNTA DITO (MANILA BAY) AY GALING SA ESTEROS. GALING SA ESTEROS, MAPUPUNTA SA PASIG RIVER, TULLAHAN RIVER, OR PARAÑAQUE RIVER—DITO (SA MANILA BAY) NAPUPUNO.

SA CAVITE NAMAN, KAPAG BUMABAGYO, PUMUPUNTA ‘YUNG DUMI RITO, KASI YUNG MGA RIVER DOON NANGGAGALING PA SA TAGAYTAY; YUNG SA TAGAYTAY, GALING NUMEROUS CREEKS YAN, BUMABABA PAPUNTA DITO. KAYA ASAHAN NIYO ‘YUNG MGA BASURA DITO AY KUKUHANIN NATIN-- GALING CAVITE AT GALING DUN SA TAGYTAY.

KAYA KAMI SA DENR--BAKA HINDI LANG NINYO ALAM-- NAG-EMPLOY KAMI NA SOBRANG ISANG LIBO NA TAO PARA BANTAYAN AND MGA ESTEROS--BANTAYAN, PAGSABIHAN ANG MGA TAO, AT SAKA I-EDUCATE NILA NA HUWAG MAGTAPON SA ESTEROS. MARAMI NANG IMPROVEMENT DITO PERO NGAYONG PANDEMIC, NAGBALIKAN NANAMAN YUNG UGALI.

NABANGGIT KANINA YUNG MGA NAUNA SA AKIN SA MANILA, SI SENATOR BELLO, NA SINABI NIYA RAW NOON, TALAGANG MAGANDA DITO, MALINIS. PERO NGAYON, MARUMI NA. KAYA SABI NIYA, MARAMI DAW TAONG AYAW DUMAAN DITO, DAHIL NANGANGAMOY. LALO NA ANG MGA NAGBIBISIKLETA DITO--KAYA AYAW NILANG DUMAAN DITO KASI NAAAMOY NILA. SO, GUSTO KONG BAGUHIN ANG CULTURE O PANINIWALA NG TAO SA PAMAMAGITAN NG PAG-GAWA NG BEACH NA ITO SA LIKOD NATIN.

WE HAVE DONE SO MUCH AFTER OUR BATTLE FOR MANILA BAY WAS LAUNCHED IN JANUARY 2019. EVEN WITH THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, WE WERE STILL ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH OUR TASK OF EMPLOYING GEO-ENGINEERING SOLUTIONS THAT INCLUDE CONCURRENT PROJECTS IN THE MANILA BAYWALK AREA.

THESE ARE THE INSTALLATION OF TRASH BOOMS---YUNG NAKIKITA NIYO SA MALAYO (REFERRING TO THE VISIBLE TRASH BOOMs IN BAYWALK), YAN ANG PINAGDE-DEFEND NATIN SA MGA MALALAKING GARBAGE NA GALING SA CAVITE--YANG TRASH BOOMS NA YAN AND SILT CURTAINS. YUNG SILT CURTAINS, TALAGANG MAYROON YAN SA BABA HANGGANG SA BOTTOM OF THE SEA PARA HINDI MAKAKAPASOK YANG MGA GARBAGE. KUNG NAKIKITA NIYO SA LIKOD--YAN YUNG TRASH BOOMS AT SILT CURTAINS.

BEACH NOURISHMENT—YUNG GINAGAWA NATIN NGAYON--DREDGING AND DESILTING--MARAMI TAYONG NA-AALIS NA BASURA NA NAKA-IMBED NA DYAN FOR 10, 000 YEARS NA. SO KINALKAL NATIN LAHAT YAN, TINAPON NATIN SA BASURAHAN NG MGA HAZARDOUS MATERIALS AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF A SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT. IN THE BASECO AREA, THE CONSTRUCTION OF A CIRCUMFERENTIAL SEWAGE INTERCEPTOR AND COMMUNAL SEPTIC TANK ARE UNDERWAY.

ALSO, NAGBIGAY KAMI NG MGA SHOW CAUSE ORDERS AND POSSIBLE CLOSURE OF ESTABLISHMENTS FOR VIOLATION OF THE CLEAN WATER ACT. MAYROON DITO MALAPIT SA BAYWALK NA ESTABLISHMENT NA MATAAS ANG COLIFORM LEVEL. WE HAVE GIVEN SHOW CAUSE ORDERS AND POSSIBLE CLOSURES KUNG ‘DI NILA AYUSIN YANG SA LIKOD NG KANILANG ESTABLISHMENT.

WE WILL ALSO IMPLEMENT THE EASEMENT LAW. MARAMING ESTABLSIHMENT DYAN SA TABI NG RIVERS AND ESTERSOS. WE ARE GIVING THEM WARNING. INCLUDING DYAN SA MAY MALAPIT SA GUADALUPE. MAYROON DYANG MALAPIT MISMO SA TUBIG YUNG KANYANG ESTABLISHMENT. PU-PUNTAHAN NAMIN YAN. WE WILLL GIVE SHOW CAUSE ORDERS NA DAPAT ALISIN YAN. ANG EASEMENT LANG DYAN SA MGA RIVERS NA YAN IS 3 METERS--KAILANGAN MA-MAINTAIN YUNG EASEMENT NA ‘YAN. WE WILL IMPELEMENT THIS VIGOROUSLY.

ALSO SADLY, THERE ARE THOSE WHO ARE FAILING OR REFUSING TO CONTRIBUTE TO SOLUTIONS, INSTEAD FINDING FAULT AMONG THOSE WHO DO.

THEY WOULD WANT US TO STOP THIS BEACH NOURISHMENT ACTIVITIES HERE AT BAYWALK, FOR REASONS THAT ARE AT BOTTOM POLITICAL RATHER THAN ENVIRONMENTAL. BUT WE WILL NOT ALLOW THEM TO DETER OR DISTRACT US.

WE MAY HAVE BEEN CONTINUALLY BASHED OVER OUR BEACH NOURISHMENT PROJECT. BUT SHOULD WE BE BOTHERED? I SAY NOT. NEVER. WE HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR AS LONG AS WE KNOW THAT WE ARE DOING SOMETHING GOOD. THIS IS CRITICAL IN REHABILITATING COASTAL AREAS LIKE MANILA BAY WHICH ARE GENERALLY DYNAMIC AREAS EXPOSED TO CONSTANT ACTIONS OF WAVES, CURRENTS, TIDES, AND WIND.

I WISH TO ALLAY FEARS THAT THE DOLOMITE SAND WE USED FOR A VERY SMALL PORTION ALONG THE BAYWALK HAS ADVERSE HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS. WE HAVE TO ALLAY FEARS SO THAT, CONTRARY TO WHAT OTHERS SAY, WE ARE NOT WASTING THE FILIPINO PEOPLE’S MONEY. THE BEACH NOURISHMENT PROJECT UNDERWENT CONSULTATIONS WITH EXPERTS TO ENSURE THAT THE FUND ALLOCATED FOR IT WILL NOT GO TO WASTE.

LESS THAN TWO MONTHS AGO, WE ALSO INAUGURATED THE FIRST SOLAR-POWERED SEWAGE TREATMENT FACILITY AT THE MANILA BAYWALK.
IT CAN CLEAN 500,000 LITERS OF DIRTY WATER DAILY FROM THE OUTFALLS OF PADRE FAURA, REMEDIOS, AND ESTERO DE SAN ANTONIO ABAD, WHICH ARE NOTORIOUS FOR HIGH COUNTS OF FECAL COLIFORM BACTERIA.
SA MALL OF ASIA. MEDYO BUMABA DITO--FROM 30 MILLION, NAGING 10 MILLION NALANG. THIS IS BECAUSE OF THE SHOW CAUSE ORDER. AND I

KNOW THAT THEY ARE DOING SOMETHING NOW, BECAUSE WE WILL NOT ALLOW ESTABLISHMENTS NA PUMUPUNTA SA MANILA BAY NA MAYROONG VIOLATIONS OF WATER QUALITY.

DITO NAMAN SA MAY BAYWALK, DITO SA HARAPAN NATIN, HINDI PA PWEDE MALIGO DYAN. DATI DYAN (REFERRING TO BAYWALK AREA NEAR SUNNY BAY SUITES BUILDING), 19 MILLION COLIFORM. NGAYON, 920,000 NALANG, KAYA HINDI PA PWEDE MAGSWIM DYAN. ANG PINAKA MABABA AY NANDOON SA MAY MANILA FINEST GRILL—3,000 TO 4,000. DITO SA MAY BAYVIEW MANSION, 54,000. DITO SA GROUND BOULEVARD HOTEL, 170,000. SO, THOUSANDS NALANG. GALING LAHAT MILLIONS ITO, UMABOT PA NGANG BILLIONS, EH.

‘YUNG NALILINISAN SA TREATMENT PLANT NA PINAGAWA DYAN--ANG INITIAL PLAN AY IBABAGSAK YUNG TUBIG NA CLEAN WATER. MAY MALAKING TUBO DYAN, DADALHIN MGA ONE KILOMETER AWAY, PUPUNTA DOON. PERO SABI NATIN, SAYANG ‘EH. MALINIS YANG TUBIG NA YAN. SO NAGPAGAWA TAYO NG CISTERN--YUNG DEPOSITOR NG TUBIG SA ILALIM NG LUPA .UMABOT NG 2 MILLION LITERS ANG KASYA.

NOW, ANO NAMANG PAG-GAGAMITIN NATIN SA TUBIG NA ITO? KOKONEKTAHAN NAMIN NG LINYA DITO PARA MAPADILIGAN ITONG MGA ITO (PERTAINING TO THE PLANTS NEAR THE BAYWALK). MANGGAGALING LAHAT DOON SA TREATED WATER SA MAY TREATMENT PLANT. ANG NAKIKITA KO KASI ANG NAGLILINIS DITO AY ANG BOMBERO ‘EH. PWEDE RIN NA KUKUHA NG TUBIG ANG BOMBERO DITO SA TREATMENT PLANT. TINATANUNG KUNG PABABAYARAN NATIN SILA. SABI KO LIBRE NA LANG SIGURO.

THERE WILL BE OTHER TREATMENT PLANTS FOR THE PARANAQUE RIVER, THE TULLAHAN-TINAJEROS RIVER SYSTEM, AND THE LAS PIÑAS-ZAPOTE RIVER, ALL OF WHICH EMPTY INTO THE MANILA BAY.

THE TWO PRIVATE SECTOR WATER CONCESSIONAIRES OF THE METROPOLITAN WATERWORKS AND SEWERAGE SYSTEM HAVE ALSO BEEN REQUIRED TO PUT UP SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANTS OF THEIR OWN. THUS FAR, THEY HAVE CONSTRUCTED 60 SUCH PLANTS IN METRO MANILA WITH A COMBINED WASTEWATER TREATMENT CAPACITY OF 972,000 CUBIC METERS PER DAY, WITH MORE UNDERWAY.

THE RAPID RESTORATION THAT WE DID IN BORACAY, AND THE MULTI-YEAR REHABILITATION THAT WE ARE UNDERTAKING FOR THE MANILA BAY, ARE NOT MEANT TO BE ONE-OF-THEIR KIND ACCOMPLISHMENTS. RATHER, THEY PROVIDE A TEMPLATE FOR OTHER COASTAL AND SMALL ISLAND AREAS TO REPLICATE.

THE LESSONS WE LEARNED IN BORACAY, FOR EXAMPLE, ARE BEING APPLIED IN OTHER ECOTOURISM SITES LIKE EL NIDO AND CORON IN PALAWAN, PANGLAO ISLAND IN BOHOL, AND PUERTO GALERA IN ORIENTAL MINDORO.

INSPIRED BY THESE INITIATIVES, MANY OTHERS ARE CONTRIBUTING TO CLEANER SEAS. MANY LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS HAVE ALREADY BANNED SINGLE-USE PLASTIC PACKAGING, WHILE MANY POPULAR FAST FOOD RESTAURANTS HAVE STOPPED USING PLASTIC DRINKING STRAWS AND PLASTIC COFFEE STIRRERS THAT OTHERWISE MIGHT FIND THEIR WAY TO THE SEAS.

PERO, DURING THIS PANDEMIC, MARAMI NANAMANG GUMAMIT NG PLASTIC. HUWAG GAMITIN YUNG PRACTICE NA ITO. MEANWHILE, THE REGIONAL OFFICES OF DENR ALSO DESERVE COMMENDATION FOR SIMULTANEOUSLY HOLDING ACTIVITIES TODAY. CEBU CITY IS ALSO HAVING THEIR CLEANUP TODAY LED BY BISHOP PALAMA AND MAYOR LABELLA , AND VICE MAYOR RAMA.

WE ARE CONFIDENT THAT WITH THE GROUNDSWELL OF SUPPORT THAT WE ARE ENJOYING, WE WILL IN SHORT ORDER BE ABLE TO SUSTAINABLY CLEAN UP OUR COASTS. IT IS THUS WITH HIGH SPIRITS THAT WE JOIN OTHERS ACROSS THE SEAS IN CELEBRATING INTERNATIONAL COASTAL CLEAN-UP DAY.

IN CLOSING, AFTER THIS CEREMONY, I WILL INVITE THE PEOPLE HERE FOR AN OPEN HOUSE THERE AT OUR BACK. BUBUKSAN NATIN ‘YAN, PUNTAHAN NINYO YUNG DOLOMITE. TIGNAN NINYO. YOU CAN STAY THERE THE WHOLE DAY UP TO 6PM TODAY. HANGGANG BUKAS WHOLE DAY KAYO. DOON KO MAKIKITA NA DAPAT KUNG PUMASOK KA DYAN GANYAN KALINIS, PAG-ALIS NATIN DAPAT GANYAN RIN KALINIS. AND TO ME, THAT WILL BE THE SIGN OF BEHAVIOUR CHANGE.YAN PO ANG INTENSYON NATIN SA BEACH NA ITO, YUNG PAGKAKAIBA NA SA DATI NA PWEDE MAKABAGO NG ATING MGA UGALI.

INAANYAYAHAN KO ANG MARAMI PANG PILIPINO NA MAKILAHOK SA AMING ADHIKAIN. DAHIL IKAW, AKO, TAYO ANG KALIKASAN!
KAY SENATOR BELLO--GOOD LUCK, AFTER MY TERM OF OFFICE AS SECRETARY, I WILL JUST FADE AWAY.

MARAMING SALAMAT!