By Ria Fernandez
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) “will initiate appropriate legal action” against subdivisions surrounding Manila Bay that will refuse to connect to a Sewage Treatment Plant (STP).
STP is essential in the planned rehabilitation of Manila Bay as it helps reduce the fecal coliform content in the waters.
The government targets to have all households connected to an STP by 2037.
However, Donna Gordove, director of the Manila Bay Coordinating Council (MBCO), said they have received reports that around 40 subdivisions declined to be linked to a sewerage system.
There was even a subdivision homeowners association that was asking P300 million from Maynilad before allowing it to could be allowed to excavate the subdivision’s streets, the official said.
“Two weeks ago we entered a memorandum with Maynilad. They will give us the list of subdivisions that are refusing to connect,” Gordove said during a press conference in Manila on Friday.
The latest data of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) showed that only 16 percent of the 16 million water-served population of Maynilad and Manila Water were part of a sewerage system.
For the 84 percent others, the ideal practice would be to avail of siphoning services of water concessionaires so that their septic tanks could be cleared. These services are already included in their clients’ bill.
However, according to Gordove, a majority of these clients waive this service because many have already built other structures on top of the septic tanks.
Patrick Ty, chief regulator of MWSS, said that one of the proposed solutions of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), should residents continue to disregard the requirement to link to sewerage systems, will be to “file cases against barangay officials.”