By Genalyn Kabiling
As part of the government-led cleanup of Manila Bay, President Duterte has called on hotels along the coastal area to establish proper wastewater treatment systems or else risk closure.
The President said the government was prepared to suffer tourism losses in case some hotels are shut down for environmental violations.
“So, mga hotel, ‘yung palabas niyo mga tae ng mga turista… Kaya ko ang tae ng Pilipino pero kung tae ng kung sinu-sino diyan. Lagyan ninyo ng water treatment ang hotel ninyo. Kapag hindi, sarhan ko ‘yan [To the hotels dumping waste of tourists there, I can take the crap of Filipinos but not the crap of others. Put water treatment systems in your hotels. If not, I will close you down],” Duterte said during the barangay summit on peace and order in Pasay City Tuesday.
“Huwag ninyo akong hamunin. Kung wala tayong turista, eh di wala. Hindi naman tayo mamamatay [Do not challenge me. If there will be no tourists, so be it. We will not die]. You do something about your waste there, otherwise I will close you. Sigurado yan [That’s for sure],” he added.
After their commendable work in restoring cleanliness in Boracay, Duterte said he has directed Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu and Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año to lead the cleanup and rehabilitation of Manila Bay.
“Sabi ko kay Roy Cimatu pati si General Ano, you start cleaning the Manila Bay and it will be. They will start to clean it [I told General Cimatu and General Año, you start cleaning the Manila Bay and it will be. They will start to clean it,” he said.
Last Monday, the President and the Cabinet discussed the possibility of using the special road fund to bankroll the cleanup of Manila Bay.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the President backed the rehabilitation of the bay, including the crackdown on polluters. He admitted though the effort will take some time due to the huge bay and many tributaries.
Cimatu earlier announced plans to lead the rehabilitation of Manila Bay this year, after the cleanup of Boracay island. The environment chief was aiming to make the bay safe for swimming again.
Cimatu said the 2008 Supreme Court order to concerned government agencies to clean up, rehabilitate and preserve Manila Bay must finally be enforced by the government especially the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).