Manila Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso called for unity and cooperation in cleaning up the Manila Bay.
“Pagtutulong tulong, pagkakaisa, pagkakaunawaan at pagmamalasakit sa kapwa, siguro ang paalala sa atin ng Manila Bay (cooperation, unity, understanding, and sympathy for our neighbors, maybe that is the message for us of the Manila Bay),” Domagoso said during the observance of the International Coastal Cleanup Day at the Manila Bay on Saturday.
Domagoso said some people used the issue over the Manila Bay's beach nourishment project to sow hatred and spread malicious information.
“Magkaisa muna tayo, hindi kalaban ang DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources), ang DA (Department of Agriculture), DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development), mga taong gobyerno. Hindi kalaban ang pamahalaan, meron tayong kalaban, baka katabi nyo lang, andyan lang si Covid-19 lumiligid ligid, yun ang tunay na kalaban (let us be united, the DENR, DA, DSWD or government officials are not enemies. The government is not an enemy. Our real enemy right now is Covid-19 which may be just around us),” he said.
While he respects varying opinions over the issue, Domagoso said every Filipino has a responsibility to contribute to the development of the country and their communities.
He also described the project as the "beginning of a better day" for the Manila Bay and thanked President Rodrigo Duterte through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for taking action to revive its beauty that was neglected.
While it is true that some parts of the rehabilitation may be superficial, he added that its aesthetic value is just an "add on" as the major goal is to clean up Manila Bay through building facilities to treat dirty water coming from the inland before flowing into the bay.
He also assured the public that the city government of Manila does not simply approve every development introduced in the city as these have to be beneficial to the people and would not pose any hazard.