A water quality management area (WQMA) board is set to be created in El Nido by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to supervise the restoration of water quality in Bacuit Bay.
DENR provincial environment and natural resources officer Eriberto Saños said Wednesday that the board will assist in ensuring that the six-month rehabilitation in El Nido will include the restoration of water quality in some areas in Bacuit Bay to 100 parts per million (PPM) acceptable coliform level in order to be safe for the public.
“Ang board ang tututok sa Bacuit Bay dahil bagsak sa fecal coliform ‘di ba? Kaya meron tayong certain number na dapat ma-achieve para maging safe ang bay sa lahat,” he said.
Saños said that the board will be comprised of different agencies, including the local government of El Nido.
The WQMA is a system designed to protect and save bodies of water through the collaborative efforts of stakeholders and government agencies.
El Nido mayor Nieves Rosento, who welcomes the WQMA to restore the water quality in Bacuit Bay, said they are now stepping up their rehabilitation initiatives to meet the six-month deadline that was ordered by the DENR.
“Tuloy-tuloy ang mga ginagawa natin ngayon bilang tugon doon sa order. Ongoing ang mga demolitions, ang mga paglilinis ng waterways,” Rosento said.
Previously, Rosento also issued a memorandum order restricting swimming activities in the waters of Barangay Buena Suerte due to high fecal coliform presence at 1,300 ppm.
It can be recalled that DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu ordered the six-month rehabilitation of El Nido during his visit in November 2018.
In national reports available online, Henry Adornado, executive director of the DENR- MIMAROPA said Tuesday that they are confident that they could make the bay safe for swimming by May.
In 2018, the DENR created Task Force El Nido to handle the cleanup of coastal areas and ensure implementation of environmental rules and regulations in the municipality.