GOVERNMENT is taking steps to address the serious problem of open defecation in Manila Bay.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has forged an agreement with the Manila City government, water concessionaire Maynilad and the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) to address the problem.
The agreement will implement the “Project: Kubeta Ko” to provide 400 units of portable, container-based toilet facilities to informal settler families (ISFs) in the Parola area in Tondo, Manila, which has been identified as a hotspot since its residents are notorious for openly defecating into the waters of Manila Bay.
“With this project, we will be able to change the culture of ISFs so that they will be able to excrete wastes privately and in a dignified manner, while contributing to the eventual cleanliness of Manila Bay,” environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said in a statement.
Under the agreement, the DENR will extend P10 million in financial assistance to the Manila City government, with a $160,000 contribution from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, for the implementation of the project, including the operational costs for one year.
The local government of Manila, as the procuring entity and beneficiary of the project, is tasked to ensure that the delivered goods will be properly installed, tested and maintained.
It is also expected to perform social preparation activities in Parola and ensure the cooperation of target beneficiaries in the implementation of the undertaking.
On the other hand, Maynilad will be responsible for the treatment of waste to be generated, while MWSS will be in charge of monitoring the project and providing necessary assistance to the parties.