Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta and other Supreme Court officials inspected the Manila Bay on Wednesday morning to see the progress of its rehabilitation in connection with a case pending before the tribunal.
“The meeting was initiated by Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta as the chairperson of the SC Manila Bay Advisory Committee. He wanted the Manila Bay Task Force to report to him and give an update on the projects and initiatives undertaken to clean up Manila Bay pursuant to the continuing mandamus issued by the Supreme Court,” SC spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka told reporters.
Peralta said a deliberation by the high court is scheduled on Nov. 3 on the progress of the implementation of a 2008 ruling which had ordered concerned agencies under the executive department to rehabilitate the area.
Aside from Peralta, also present in the meeting with Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu were Associate Justices Rodil Zalameda, Mario Lopez, Edgardo delos Santos and Ricardo Rosario.
In September, the Akbayan party-list asked the high court to cite officials of the Department of Natural Resources (DENR) in contempt of the continuing mandamus of the tribunal over the controversial use of dolomite sand in a portion of the bay.
In 2008, the SC ordered the government including the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to implement measures to clean up Manila Bay.
Under the original order, all local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila, Rizal, Laguna, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga, and Bataan were directed to inspect all factories, commercial establishments, and private homes along the banks of major river systems and waterways that eventually discharge water to Manila Bay.
It also ordered concerned agencies to provide, install, operate and maintain the necessary adequate wastewater treatment facility in Metro Manila, Rizal, and Cavite, restore marine life; apprehend violators of existing laws designed to prevent marine pollution of Manila Bay; adopt measures to prevent dumping of solid and liquid wastes and other ship-generated wastes into Manila Bay’s water from vessels; dismantle and remove all structures and constructions along the Pasig-Marikina-San Juan rivers, National Capital Region rivers, Navotas-Malabon-Tullahan-Tenejeros rivers, and other connecting waterways and esteros in Metro Manila. (PNA)