The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is looking to rehabilitate the Davao Gulf just like Manila Bay and Boracay.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu told reporters yesterday that relocating informal settler families (ISF) will be the long-term solution for the Davao Gulf clean-up. But the more immediate solution would be to solve the high-coliform level in the water.
“As long as ISF will continue to defecate in the coastal areas, there will be coliform. Livestock farms who direct animal wastes to the gulf also contribute to the high coliform,” Cimatu said.
In the Pre-Sona event yesterday attended by different national agency leaders, Cimatu said he will be establishing a temporary sewerage treatment facility, similar to those installed in the drainage and canals of Metro Manila.
“This temporary sewerage system has been done in the esteros of Manila Bay,” he said.
According to Cimatu, they need to build a communal toilet that will cater to 10 informal settlers. The septic tank will be emptied weekly.
“This can be a temporary solution before we can totally relocate the ISF,” he said.
Cimatu said he will direct the DENR XI regional director Ruth Tawantawan to setup the the said facility.
He added that another looming problem for the relocation is the culture of the ISF, especially since most of them are Badjaos who prefer to live near the water.
A triathlon event this past week had to cancel the swim leg because the Davao Gulf wasn’t deemed safe for the participants.