By Elijah Felice Rosales, April 4 2019; Business Mirror

Image Credit to Business Mirror

THE country’s largest business network has instructed its members operating near and around Manila Bay to comply with environmental regulations in aid of government efforts to rehabilitate the area.

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) vowed its members near and around Manila Bay will adhere to environmental regulations in support of the ongoing cleanup of the tourist spot. It also guaranteed firms affiliated with PCCI are stepping up their business practices to make them sustainable for the environment.

However, the group appealed to the government to observe due process in dealing with noncompliant enterprises.

“[The] PCCI assures the government of its support as a partner in this endeavor. The PCCI will encourage its member-businesses to comply with environmental regulations and implement sustainable business practices, but also [appeals] to the government that due process should always be observed in dealing with noncompliance issues,” PCCI said in a recent statement.

“The cleanup of Manila Bay is a huge and daunting challenge that cannot be done by the government alone and requires the support of the private sector,” the statement added.

The PCCI argued that the government has to involve the private sector in the cleanup drive given the grandnetss and coverage of the initiative. Further, the group said businesses need to take part in the rehabilitation of Manila Bay, as it is a center of economic activity, from shipping to tourism.

“[The] PCCI further believes that the initiative to rehabilitate Manila Bay is paramount considering that Manila Bay is the country’s major center of economic activity ranging from shipping, industrial, commercial, fishing, aquaculture and tourism,” the statement read.

Last Sunday, Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu headed simultaneous river and estero cleanups in 42 Metro Manila barangays as part of government efforts to rehabilitate Manila Bay. Cimatu said that for the bay to be cleaned up, it is important to stop pollution right at the source.

The government is implementing a P4.7-billion, seven-year program to rehabilitate Manila Bay, as mandated under Administrative Order 16 issued by Malacañang in February.

The cleanup of Manila Bay comes on the heels of the government’s rehabilitation of Boracay Island. The government had to shut down the island destination for six months from April to October of last year to allow establishments near and around it to fix their sewerage systems believed to be polluting the waters.