PCGA calls Bataan mayors to join “Save Manila Bay” project

January 27, 2011 12:10 pm 

BALANGA CITY, Bataan, Jan. 27 — The Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA) on Wednesday asked mayors in the province to join their group in saving Manila Bay, which is now described as “dead” one and needs at least 80 years to resurrect.

Citing the vital role of the local officials that could play in bringing back to life the Manila Bay, Rear Admiral Winifredo Villanueva, commander PCGA 101st Squadron, invited mayors from 11 towns and one city in the province to be part of the project.

Villanueva said the “Save Manila Bay” project was launched at the Manila Yacht Club October 22 last year.

He said resources for the project come from member-volunteers.

Bataan was their third destination after visiting mayors from Cavite and Bulacan.

Aside from Bataan, Cavite, Bulacan and areas adjacent to Manila Bay, Villanueva said they will also invite mayors from Manila, Pasay, Paranaque, Batangas, Navotas and Malabon.

He said it took for a rich country like Japan to clean Tokyo Bay in 40 years.

“In poor countries like the Philippines, probably it would take 80 years to resurrect the dead Manila Bay,” the admiral said.

“It will take many years and we will not be able to finish the project in our generation, but we have to start so the next generation can continue and finish it,” Villanueva said.

Meanwhile, Limay town Mayor Lilvir Roque voiced his concern about domestic and foreign vessels frequenting their port that might have dumped wastes within their territorial waters.

Limay is the site of a giant oil refinery and some industries.

The PCGA commander said sea marshals composed of the Coast Guard and the Philippine Maritime will take care of the problem.

He said their group will be taking up the matter with ship owners.

Villanueva, together with PCGA Capt. Herman Warns, presented the 10-point agenda of “Save Manila Bay” aimed at protecting and conserving the marine environment.

The 10-point agenda are: requirement for all existing establishments surrounding Manila Bay to have their own waste water treatment facility; dumping of wastes by shipping vessels on proper dumping areas; setting-up of radar and communication systems on Fort Drum in Corregidor to monitor all shipping vessels coming in and out;

Putting-up of fish sanctuaries on all surrounding municipalities and cities of Manila Bay; lobby for passage of resolution/ordinance to impose stiff penalties on violators from P50,000 to P1 million; patrolling of Manila Bay with aid of CCTV cameras, fast boats against illegal fishing.

“The Save Manila Bay is just a symbol, just a wake-up call because we need to clean the canals and rivers to protect the environment and mitigate the climate change which caused calamities in many countries and in some parts of the Philippines, ” Villanueva said.

The Coast Guard commander said the mayors will be bestowed honorary rank of commodore once they become members of the group.

Bataan Mayors’ League Vice-President Gene dela Fuente said they will pass a resolution endorsing the project. (PNA)

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