THE WORLD BANK and the government are preparing a $17.3-million project seeking to improve the latter’s capacity to implement water management projects.
In a concept paper, the World Bank authorized gave the green light to preparations for the Integrated Water Quality Management Project to be implemented by the Laguna Lake Development Authority.
The national government will provide $9.90 million, while $7.40 million will come from the Global Environment Facility trust fund.
The project aims to “strengthen institutional capacity and systems to manage water pollution in Manila Bay and its tributaries.”
The project will aid in the review of water quality-related interventions, the assessment of government agencies that are Manila Bay cleanup stakeholders; benchmarking water quality management structures against similar initiatives in other countries; consultative formulation of institutional arrangements for the management and governance of water quality for Manila Bay; and support in enhancing the reporting mechanism.
Currently, efforts to clean up Manila Bay are fragmented, and lack a strategic framework for monitoring and managing water pollution, according to the World Bank.
The World Bank is looking for the following key results, which include: an updated Manila Bay clean-up plan developed and validated with stakeholders; an operational water quality decision support system; innovative pollution control facilities; and publicly-accessible water quality monitoring data.
The World Bank said that Manila Bay is “central to the economic development of the country,” serving some 30 million individuals for maritime, trade and travel. It also acts as the main water catchment for bodies of water in Metro Manila.
It said that years of “institutional neglect and environmental abuse” made Manila Bay unfit for human contact. It noted that 86% of diarrhea incidence in Metro Manila is caused by poor water supply and sanitation.
The Integrated Water Quality Management Project is targeted for finalization by March 2019.