THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said that it hopes to make the waters of Bacuit Bay in El Nido, Palawan safe for swimming by May.
“We are confident we can present to the public an improved Bacuit Bay — safe and fit for bathing and swimming,” Executive Director Henry A. Adornado of DENR Region IV-B said in a statement on Tuesday.
The DENR is currently looking at the possibility of declaring Bacuit Bay a Water Quality Management Area (WQMA), which authorizes the implementation of an integrated water quality management system to protect and save bodies of water.
The DENR is currently rehabilitating Manila Bay, with the goal of making its waters safe for swimming this year by reducing its fecal coliform level, after the agency mounted a 6-month cleanup of Boracay Island.
Establishments found to be contributing to the pollution of Manila Bay are currently being issued cease and desist and ex-parte orders, and notices of violation, forcing them to comply with environmental laws particularly the Clean Water Act.
“Water quality management is one of the priorities of Secretary (Roy A.) Cimatu. The establishment of Bacuit Bay as a WQMA adheres to the thrust of his administration for clean water,” Reynulfo A. Juan, DENR Assistant Secretary, said in a statement.
“We look forward to having a sustained and collective action toward saving Bacuit Bay and the rest of our natural resources here in El Nido,” Mr. Juan added.
The DENR said that it is working on building an additional office in El Nido, as well as a bacteriology laboratory to help the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) evaluate water samples. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio