Quezon City – “The DA will continue to elevate its participation and engagement in the Battle for Manila Bay through its various bureaus and attached agencies,” Secretary William D. Dar said during the anniversary celebration of the Manila Bay Rehabilitation Program held at the Baseco Port Area on January 26.
In line with the commitment, he directed Undersecretary for Fisheries and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Director Eduardo Gongona to weekly monitor developments in the Manila Bay area, establish an office for environmental issues, and promote aqua farming in Metro Manila.
The BFAR, in partnership with its regional offices, will build up a baseline information system to identify when it is possible to raise and capture fish in Manila Bay.
“Basta may tubig, sana may isda,” Dar said regarding the rehabilitation program.
“We will work with other departments to clean up the water so that the fishes that thrive here will also be a source of livelihood for the people,” he added.
According to Dar, the fisheries subsector comprises a big chunk of the agriculture sector as it contributes almost 19 percent in gross value. He added that areas in Metro Manila, Calabarzon Region, and Central Luzon Region are critical areas in bringing back into good state the condition of Manila Bay.
The Secretary also directed the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) and the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) to strongly support the rehabilitation program with focus on liquid waste management.
In addition, the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), in partnership with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), will promote the DA’s urban agriculture program.
DA is one of the 13 government agencies, led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, ordered by the Supreme Court Mandamus on Manila Bay to clean-up, rehabilitate, and preserve Manila Bay.
Stay updated with news and information from the Department of Agriculture by visiting their website at http://www.da.gov.ph.