Remedy for ‘disjointed’ Manila Bay management proposed

A bill has been filed in the House of Representatives seeking a unified policy and course of action for the protection of Manila Bay.

Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco’s House Bill (HB) 2926 wants to establish a Manila Bay Management Council (MBMC) that shall “supervise, manage and [take] control of Manila Bay” for its “protection, preservation and progress.”

“The Supreme Court mandamus on Manila Bay [has] caused local governments to administer and conserve the waters [of the bay] within their jurisdiction,” Tiangco said.

“However, this [has] led to the implementation of varied and inconsistent policies that affect our fisherfolk,” he pointed out.

Navotas, Manila, Pasay, Parañaque, and Las Piñas in Metro Manila, and the provinces of Bataan, Pampanga, Bulacan and Cavite hog the coast of Manila Bay.

“Despite remarkable amendments in existing laws, the perceived problem on the exercise of jurisdiction of several municipalities and cities over the Manila Bay remains unresolved,” he said.

HB 2926 would amend Section 16 of the Philippine Fisheries Code to hand supervision and control of Manila Bay to the proposed council, Tiangco said.

Under the measure, the secretaries of the agriculture and environment departments, the chairperson of the Metro Manila Development Authority, and the governors of Bataan, Pampanga, Bulacan, and Cavite shall compose the MBMC.

“Restoring Manila Bay to its pristine state will only be feasible if all concerned government agencies and local government units [would] follow and implement unified rules, policies, and procedures,” Tiangco said.

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