News Release

Secretary Cimatu hailed for Manila Bay rehab, clean up

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over the meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members prior to his talk to the people at the Arcadia Active Lifestyle Center in Davao City on September 21, 2020. ALBERTO ALCAIN/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday praised Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu for the clean up and rehabilitation of Manila Bay, which, he said, the people now enjoy.

“Let us begin by congratulating Secretary Cimatu. You know I remember that meeting and I think everybody was there when I said, “Roy, kaya mong linisin ‘to?’ And his answer was a very curtly — very curtly given, he said, ‘Kaya kong trabahuhin,’” President Duterte said in a televised address from Davao City.

“Now, people now are really enjoying the reclaimed area with the white sand maski na papaano.”

The President said he was impressed by Secretary Cimatu when he accepted the job and transformed Manila Bay into something that the people can enjoy.

President Duterte, who presided the meeting of Cabinet members on government response on the coronavirus expressed his gratitude to them for working in government and serving the people.

“Lahat naman kayo eh nagpapasalamat ako sa tulong ninyo. I — I think that I would… Kung wala kayo, I would have a very hard time running the country. But because you are there… I’m not saying I have succeeded. That is for the people to — to assess or give when I’m no longer the President,” he said.

In January last year, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) started the rehabilitation of the Manila Baywalk area.

The ambitious effort has several phases: clean up and water quality improvement, sewer line rehabilitation and informal settler relocation as well as public education and law enforcement.

The Manila Bay area covers eight provinces and 178 local government units in three regions of the country: National Capital Region (NCR), Central Luzon, and Calabarzon.

Four of the eight provinces are coastal areas, which include Bataan, Bulacan, Cavite and Pampanga. The four non-coastal areas are Laguna, Nueva Ecija, Rizal and Tarlac. PND