MANILA (Xinhua) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is trying to get about US$876 million to fund the massive cleanup and rehabilitation of Manila Bay and restore it to its former glory.
One of the possible sources of the much-needed fund is the “special road funds,” according to presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo.
He said the use of road users’ tax for government projects was discussed during the Monday’s Cabinet meeting.
“The Cabinet also discussed that the special road funds can be used to finance hospital needs and the cleanup of the Manila Bay,” Mr Panelo said, adding that the total budget for the rehabilitation of the polluted Manila Bay “is yet to be finalised.”
The Duterte government plans to start this January a clean-up drive to rehabilitate the polluted and foul-smelling Manila Bay, a well-known natural harbor in Manila that offers a scenic sunset view.
Roy Cimatu, secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), bared last month the government’s plan to address water pollution and its surroundings.
The rehabilitation will require the relocation of thousands of illegal settlers, whose household waste contribute to 70 percent of pollution in the area, DENR spokesperson Jonas Leones earlier said.
The Pasig River and Laguna Lake, which both flow into Manila Bay, will also have to be cleaned up, he added.