The Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners (PIEP) in Davao City is looking at rehabilitating the Davao Gulf before it could turn into the next Manila Bay.
“It’s about time. Manila Bay is even worse but I think Davao Gulf has already become a big septic tank in the country so it’s about time we advocate for this,” Leonida Santos, PIEP-Davao Chapter member, said on Wednesday.
The group has been advocating for the protection and conservation of Davao Gulf for years. In fact, it is part of the Infrastructure Modernization for Davao (IM4) 2025 of the city government, assisted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Engr. Froilan Rigor, vice-president of PIEP, added that they have sent an official communication letter to the National Economic and Development Authority XI for the immediate funding of the feasibility study on the sewerage system.
“All our wastes will go throughout the drainage line will end up in Davao River. From the Davao River, it will end up in Davao Gulf,” Rigor said.
He also recalled back in 1970s, Times Beach was still very clean. In 1992, coliform was already detected in the beach.
“Comparing in 1970s and then comparing in 1990s, imagine that now because it (coliforms) has accumulated through the years. The population increases, as well as the discharges to the Davao rivers because we don’t have a sewerage system,” Rigor added.
Rigor advised all related sectors to “move fast” because if not, “time will come that it will become the next Pasig River and Manila Bay.”