After the positive developments thus far of the ongoing rehabilitation of Boracay Island, the government has now turned its sights on a more challenging task: rehabilitating Manila Bay.
The campaign was formally launched last Sunday, with hundreds of volunteers trooping the Baywalk area to start the cleanup. And judging from the photos taken after the event, they seem to have done a good job so far.
But before the premature celebrations, let us remind ourselves that this is just start of a long war, so to speak. It would be naive to think that a one-day clean up will be enough to bring back order to the universe, or in this case, to the Manila Bay.
In fact, this latest effort is just part of a long struggle to revive Manila Bay. It is also a gargantuan task to the point that the Supreme Court got involved in 2008 which directed the government agencies and the local government to do a cleanup of the Manila Bay.
But as someone pointed out (which I cannot recall where I read it, unfortunately), the difference of this latest push compared to the previous efforts is that there is an example and an inspiration for this effort, which is the success of the Boracay rehabilitation. The fact that this latest campaign is being dubbed as a “rehabilitation” implies that this is a serious effort.
Of course, bringing back Manila Bay to its old glory as that glittering gem of before involves more than just a simple cleanup of the bay. There are many factors to take into account and issues needed to be resolved, and resolving them will take a long time to address. Among them:
- Installation of more water treatment facilities across the metropolis and other areas surrounding Manila Bay.
- The matter of commercial and industrial establishments who are not practicing proper waste disposal, more so those located near the waterways.
- Dealing with the illegal settlers who have set up their homes near the waterways when they should not even be there in the first place.
Still, seeing such positive developments thus far should be taken as an encouraging sign to keep on going until that vision of a better and cleaner Manila Bay is fully realized.
Here’s hoping that this renewed resolve to revitalize Manila Bay will be a serious, long-term effort that will bring about a positive result this time around.