By MADELAINE MIRAFLOR
Waste water in Metro Manila is worse than Boracay, according to the chief regulator of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System.
Patrick Ty said Metro Manila’s sewerage coverage only stands at 13 percent with most of the wastes ending up in Manila Bay, Pasig River, and up to Laguna Bay.
“Ang problema sa Metro Manila hindi lang naman po sa waste water, kasama rin po ang solid waste,” said Ty, adding that the wastes include diapers and shoes, among others.
Ty said the problem facing Boracay already exists in Manila.
“We are actually worst. Manila Bay and Pasig River are so dirty, you can’t swim in it,” he said.
To address the issue, Metro Manila’s water utilities – Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Manila Water Corp. – are looking to spend as much as P285 billion over the next 19 years to ensure 100 percent coverage.
Waste water or sewage has to be treated because it contains a number of pollutants and contaminants that can harm the country’s aquatic resources when discharged to freshwater bodies and marine waters.
Ty said the Supreme Court, through the Clean Water Act, has given Maynilad and Manila Water until 2037 to complete 100 percent sewerage coverage for the metropolis, home to more than 12 million people.
Unlike Boracay, Metro Manila cannot be shut down, according to Ty.
Maynilad and Manila have their own sewage treatment plants and septage treatment plants.
Ty said Maynilad is proposing to spend around P30.19 billion from 2018 to 2022 and another P101.45 billion from 2023 to 2037 to increase its capacity.
Manila Water, on the other hand, plans to pour P37.44 billion from 2018 to 2022 and P116 billion from 2023 to 2037.
Ty said MWSS “plans to pressure” Maynilad and Manila Water to meet their targets.
“If it’s possible, we would have wanted them to make it faster. But the rates will be higher. We don’t want the price of water to increase drastically,” he said.
“In order to increase coverage, you need to build sewer lines and that would entail building on the roads, causing traffic. And building facilities require money,” he added.
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