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DENR shuts down US Embassy-Yacht Club baywalk for Manila Bay cleanup

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Manila Bay’s shoreline between the Manila Yacht Club and the US Embassy would be temporarily closed to the public for rehabilitation and cleanup.

“We’ll close that stretch hopefully in about one to two weeks,” Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu said Tuesday on the sidelines of the Wood Summit in Mandaluyong City.

Cimatu said the promenade would remain open so that the public can do leisurely activities, such as strolling, jogging, and watching Manila Bay’s famous sunset.

Signs, markers and other means of delineating the target area would be installed so the public can be guided accordingly, he added.

Last Sunday, Cimatu led the start of Manila Bay’s rehabilitation, which aims to improve the quality of its water.

Cimatu said the rehabilitation of the shoreline from the US Embassy to the Manila Yacht Club is a priority to prevent untreated effluent flowing out of three existing sewage outfalls from directly discharging into Manila Bay.

He said two of those outfalls would be connected to the third outfall which, in turn, would be linked to a treatment facility.

The effluent would be treated in the facility before flowing into
Manila Bay. “It’s our first target,” he said.

Data from the DENR showed that the level of coliform bacteria in the target area’s waters is already more than one million most probable number (MPN) per 100 milliliters. The safe level is 100 MPN per 100 milliliters only.

Experts said coliform bacteria is found in human and animal feces. Water contaminated with coliform bacteria has the potential to cause disease. (PNA)