Garcia acts to create lead agency to protect Manila Bay

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Bataan 2nd District Rep. Jose Enrique “Joet” Garcia III has recently refiled House Bill No. 1419 known as “Manila Bay Development Authority (MBDA) Act of 2014” to genuinely protect and preserve Manila Bay.

The Bill was originally filed by Garcia’s late father, Congressman Enrique “Tet” Garcia, Jr. in 2014 which aims to create the MBDA as the lead agency to carry out the regional and national plans and policies for social and economic development of the Manila Bay, development of environmental management and control, preservation of the quality of human life and ecological systems, and the preservation of undue ecological disturbances, deterioration and pollution.

Garcia added that Manila Bay remains important for commerce and industry and also considered as the most challenged marine resources of the Philippines. Rapid urban growth and industrialization have been causing the decline in water quality and deteriorating marine habitats.

Manila Bay is also considered to be one of the best natural harbors in Southeast Asia and one of the finest in the world. Strategically located around the capital city of the country, Manila Bay facilitated commerce and trade between the Philippines and its neighboring countries and has become the gateway for socio-economic development even before the Spanish occupation era.

Several industries operate along the Manila Bay in the highly urbanized Metro Manila area, while there are shipyards in Cavite and Bataan, several more heavy industries, oil refineries, and power plants. The reported industrial waste and discharge of untreated domestic wastes from drainage and sewer outlets have contributed to the severe decline in the quality of water and sediments in the bay as well as impacted on the existing marine habitats.

“Just like the Laguna Lake Development Authority or LLDA, the MBDA will have similar and analogous powers and functions and organizational structures with capital requirements,” Cong. Joet Garcia said. –Mhike R. Cigaral