Manila Bay: A Lesson Worth Repeating
Social media have been flooded with pictures from Manila Bay showing how people working together have miraculously transformed its trash-filled shore into something less obnoxious to the eye.
|Above copied from Philippines Department of Tourism video|
Indeed, this is worth celebrating. However, one must be reminded that the bay remains unfit for human contact as indicated in the following figure from the Integrated Manila Bayanihan Database System:
|Above copied from the|
Integrated Manila Bayanihan Database System
Invisible pollutants such as nitrates and phosphates which promote algal blooms come mainly from agricultural and industrial waste. Detergents from households likewise contribute to this type of pollution. Coliform bacteria can originate from poultry, piggery and other animal farms. And of course, untreated sewage from households is a also a significant source of coliform. Thus, albeit picking up several tons of trash may seem a giant feat, the necessary steps to bring a body of water into a stage suitable for human contact obviously require a much larger political will. Farms, factories, establishments and houses, not only along the shores of a bay, but also along all the tributaries or rivers that feed into a bay, need to be placed on notice.