Manila Bay cleanup to fail without water treatment facilities: Atienza


Posted at Aug 08 2019 11:05 AM

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The cleanup of Manila Bay will fail if it continues catching sewage water that did not pass through treatment plants, Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said Thursday.

Atienza, a former environment secretary, ordered Maynilad and Manila Water in 2009 to pay P29.4 million for failing to build wastewater treatment facilities. The firms waged legal battle against the order until the Supreme Court earlier this week ordered them to pay the fine that has ballooned to P1.8 billion.

Manila Bay, which has been undergoing a cleanup since late January, continues to be "one big septic tank" of untreated wastewater, said Atienza.

"Hindi n'yo malilinis 'yan, maski umubos kayo ng P50 million, 'pag 'yung tubig tuloy-tuloy naman ang daloy galing poso negro... Inaalis 'yung burak, pasok naman nang pasok iyung mga sewage materials. Parang nagtatapon tayo ng pera," he said.

(You can't clean that, even if you spend P50 million, if the water from septic tanks continues going there. The sludge is being removed, but the inflow of sewage materials is ongoing. It's like we're throwing away money.)

Twenty percent of the public's water bill should go to the construction of water facilities and authorities should investigate how these funds were allocated, said Atienza, who was also former mayor of the capital.

"Hahanap tayo ng paraan irefund nila sa taumbayan iyan kung hindi nila madeliver iyung waste water treatment plant," he said.

(We will look for a way to refund that to the public if water concessionaires cannot deliver the waste water treatment plants.)

DZMM, July 8, 2019