By Ben Rosario
President Duterte’s bid to enforce a cleanup of Manila Bay will likely fail unless the Maynilad Water Services Inc. and the Manila Water Company are “forced” to install waste water treatment plants as provided under their contract with the government, Senior Deputy Minority Leader and Buhay Partylist Rep. Lito Atienza said Wednesday.
“Government should force them to provide for the water treatment contracts, otherwise their concessionaires contracts should be canceled,” said Atienza, a former secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Duterte has set his sights on the Manila Bay cleanup as his next priority environment project following the rehabilitation of world-famous Boracay.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte is determined to show political will to make his next project successful, adding that polluters will be part of the crackdown.
The former Manila mayor explained that under the concessionaires contract awarded by the government to the two water distribution firms, Maynilad and MWC will be authorized to collect environment fees which represent 20 percent of the water bills of consumers.
The collection will, in turn, be used to address concerns related to sewer and drainage wastewater, including the putting up of treatment facilities.
“The real way to clean up the bay is to force the two water concessionaires to implement the wastewater treatment facility. This will ensure that wastewater is already cleaned before being thrown out into Manila Bay,” Atienza said.
According to him the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System are the two agencies that should be tapped to oversee the implementation of the provisions of the concessionaires contract.
He recalled that Maynila and MWC have been penalized in the past for polluting Manila Bay.
“I charged them P100,000 per day for non-delivery of their basic concession requirements,” Atienza said.