LOOK: Beachgoers swim in Manila Bay despite it being a public health hazard

It looks like the news of the Manila Bay clean up has made a lot of people excited — maybe too excited. Last February 3 there were several photos taken of a public crowd in Manila Bay, with several of them even swimming in the water. This comes on the heels of the Manila city government disallowing individuals to swim in the bay.

Photo c/o Wilmie Ursal

While the clean-up efforts have shown noticeable progress so far, the Department of Health (DOH) warns that this does not mean the waters can be considered ‘clean’ just yet. Health Undersecretary Rolando Enrique Domingo stated: “We advise them to wait until water tests can show that it is safe for swim­ming. After cleaning the beach, the water will still have to be tested to see if it is safe for swimming. Laboratory tests will show the level of coliform in the water and tell us if it is within accept­able levels.”

As of the last test done by the DOH, the bay’s fecal coliform level was 3.3 million times above the standard 100 mpn. At this level, it’s highly likely for individuals to contract water-borne diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, typhoid, dysentery, skin diseases and eye infection.

Francis Martinez, MMDA’s Metro Parkway Cleaning Group head, also had this to say: “From dito po, mga 300 meters… maitim pa. Maitim pa ‘yung dagat kaya hindi pa pwedeng paliguan. May mga basura pa po ‘yan sa ilalim.” (From this point [the shore] until about 300 meters. The water is still murky and cannot be swam in. There is still trash at the bottom.)

(Before vs After: What Manila Bay looks like post-clean up and how we can keep it this way)

Efforts to clean-up Manila Bay continue. Further clean-up sessions will be held each Saturday for the foreseeable future and will hopefully continue to see a loyal group of volunteers.

Are you brave enough to take a dip in Manila Bay? 


Related Stories