Manila Bay cleanup kicks off

MANILA, Philippines – The rehabilitation of Manila Bay officially started on Sunday, January 27.

Some 5,000 volunteers gathered at the Quirino Grandstand and participated in the solidarity walk to Manila Bay. (WATCH: Rappler Talk: Cleaning up Manila Bay)

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu led the program. He was joined by Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, Acting Information and Communications Technology Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr, and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Danilo Lim.

Simultaneous cleanup activities were also conducted in Bulacan, Pampanga, and Bataan.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources said it will be handing out cease and desist orders to at least 4 major establishments which have violated environmental laws.

The rehabilitation effort, dubbed the "Battle for Manila Bay," reinforces a Supreme Court continuing mandamus, which compels government agencies and local governments to clean up the polluted bay. (READ: Lawmaker says DENR 'remiss' in taking care of Manila Bay–

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.