Press Release
June 21, 2017

Transcript of interview with Sen. Cynthia Villar (hearing on Manila Bay clean up mandamus)

Q: Assessment after the hearing?

Villar: We are just getting started. Remember, this is a new administration, the mandamus was issued in 2008. Maybe they are not familiar with it so we're just doing our planning. Parang this is just an information campaign and then they will submit their plans. Na-decide nila na they will do it up to 2022 iyong plano namin so that it will coincide with the termination of the terms of these officials. Next time they will submit their individual plans then we will do it. And then we agreed that we will monitor it quarterly. May target ka and then we do it quarterly kung naa-achieve namin ang target namin.

Q: What is the commitment of agencies?

Villar: Clean up Manila Bay, so everybody will have an assignment depende sa sinabi ng mandamus, every quarter ang review.

Q: Ano po ang mga problema?

Villar: Syempre maraming problema ang Manila Bay. One is water management, iyong ating mga sewer system and then iyong ating mga plastic. We are the third biggest producer of plastic in the ocean. And then of course, we have to rehabilitate iyong mga resources natin. We should review our plan because they (DENR) are asking us to clean Manila Bay, bakit nila ire-reclaim ang Manila Bay? Hindi naman yata consistent iyon.

Q: Ano ang status ng reclamation?

Villar: Hindi namin alam. Because they have to get ECC from DENR. So in one hand pinalilinis nila ang Manila Bay, in another hand may nagbibigay ng ECC. That has to be reviewed kasi parang inconsistent.

Q: Malabo na ang reclamation?

Villar: Hindi ko alam kasi I am not in power to give those ECCs. Ang sinasabi lang namin, there is a continuing mandamus to clean Manila Bay, bakit kayo mage-ECC para tabunan ang Manila Bay. It doesn't make sense.

Q: Saan po dinadala ang mga waste na nakukuha sa Manila Bay?

Villar: Sinabi ng MMDA na they have three landfills. One is in Rizal, one is in Quezon City, Payatas; and one in Navotas, iyong kanilang landfill doon nasa water. So there is a question if that is legal. Iyon ang isang nakita namin so that has to be reviewed by DENR because they issued ECCs for that. If that is illegal, why did they issue ECC for that?

Q: Itong administration ba may initiative to clean up Manila Bay?

Villar: This is a ruling of the Supreme Court. This is not about the president. The Supreme Court ruled. There is a continuing mandamus to clean Manila Bay which was issued in 2008 because of a filed case by the people against MMDA. This a law. This is a ruling of the Supreme Court, which we should follow otherwise we are disobeying the law. Iyon ang ating pinag-uusapan dito.

Q: On sewerage system

Villar: Inadmit naman nila na 34% na ang nakolekta so they have to implement 34%, Manila Water at Maynilad.

Q: On 20 billion rehabilitation fund for Marawi, do you think it's enough?

Villar: Hindi ko alam kasi ang damage. Hindi pa naiimbentaryo ang damage. Rehabilitation, that means you rebuild the damages, may estimate na ba ng damage? Wala pa. Wala ngang nakakapasok paano mae-estimate ang damage?

Q: Kailangan ba ng supplemental o special fund?

Villar: I think they will do a special budget on that kasi kawawa naman ang Marawi. I think the president, alam mo naman iyon taga Mindanao, mahal naman noon ang Mindanao. I think they will pass a special budget for that.

Q: Special budget o magre-realign na lang?

Villar: Alam mo minsan naman ang daming sumusobra sa spending. I don't know how they will do that, pass a special budget or realignment of budget. Kasi minsan kapag sinabi mong realign magagalit ang panggagalingan diba?

Q: Kapag special budget sino magrerelease?

Villar: DBM but you have to pass it in Congress. Parang special appropriations.

Q: Pwedeng i-include sa regular budget?

Villar: Kung halimbawa matagal pa ang regular budget, they can pass a special. Sino ba naman ang kokontra sa special budget kung para sa Marawi? Nobody will question that. Syempre lahat gustong tumulong sa Marawi.

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