MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte again threatened to go after establishments that pollute waterways leading to Manila Bay, which is currently being rehabilitated by the government.
“[To] the establishments that continue to pollute and poison our waters, make a choice,” Duterte said during his 4th State of the Nation Address on Monday, July 22. (READ: Gov’t goes after more businesses polluting Manila Bay, waterways)
“I’m going to dismantle your building or just simply burn it down so that we can have a new set up of environmental-friendly, whatever that is,” he added.
Duterte had threatened in January to close down establishments, particularly hotels, that pollute Manila Bay. He told them to “do something” about the waste that contaminate the bay.
On Monday, the President said that while the government still has a long way to go in its rehabilitation of Manila Bay, they were “encouraged” by the test results of waters collected near Padre Faura – considered one of the dirtiest parts of the bay.
Duterte also took note of the relocation of informal settlers, which he hopes can happen during his time as president.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, which led the cleanup drive in Manila Bay last January, already began the relocation of informal settlers in June with the help of the Metro Manila Development Authority and the National Housing Authority.
The Manila Bay rehabilitation rides on the momentum of the 6-month rehabilitation of Boracay Island in 2018. On Monday, Duterte said that Boracay was “restored close to its original pristine state” after its temporary closure.
But Duterte gave due notice to local government units as well as stakeholders of tourist destinations “to take extra steps in the enforcement of our laws and in the protection of our environment.” – Rappler.com
For highlights of President Duterte’s 4th SONA, check out our live blog.
For related stories, visit Rappler’s 2019 State of the Nation Address page.
Rappler takes a deeper look at the first half of Rodrigo Duterte’s presidency – its highs and lows, its achievements and shortcomings: Duterte Year 3: The Halfway Mark
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