Environmental planners are calling the city government of Davao to take action in saving Davao Gulf from becoming a virtual cesspool.
Architect Leonida Santos, Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners (PIEP) past president and Rotary International district officer said that the Davao Gulf is “slowly becoming a septic tank of the city.”
Although it is not yet as worse as the Manila Bay or Pasig River, Santos said that a sewerage system must be developed as soon as possible.
Santos said that PIEP is closely coordinating with the local government, as having a treatable sewerage plant is one of the Infrastructure Mondernization for Davao City (IM4-Davao) study made by Japan International Coordinating Agency (JICA).
Certain portions of the Davao Gulf have been reported to have an increased level of coliform bacteria in previous findings.
“We can still save Davao Gulf,” Santos said during Wednesday’s Habi at Kape press forum at the Abreeza Mall.
Civil engineer Froilan Rigor, PIEP vice president, said that they had already sent an official letter to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to have an immediate feasibility study on the sewerage system for Davao City as they cannot wait for JICA to start the waste management system in the city in 2025.
“We will be starting with the study of the seevrage system, so that our Davao River will not be a cesspool since all the wastes will be thrown at these body of water,” said Rigor, who has been a city planner for decades.
He recalled how his son’s genitals got infected after swimming at the Times Beach in Matina Aplaya.
Rigor said that other factors should be considered as to why Davao Gulf is slowly becoming a cesspool like Boracay Island in the past. These include informal settlers living nearby and irresponsible factories throwing their waste in the water.
The engineer also said that the Davao City Water District (DCWD) should have an active participation in this plan because it is the district’s logical responsibility being the city’s potable water provider.
Rigor said that Magsaysay Park would be suitable for the sewerage treatment facility to be established.
He said that the city planners want to replicate the concept of park and sewerage facility, similar to Japan.
“We were fortunate enough to be with Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, during her tour in Japan, wherein they have treatment, facilities beneath their parks,” Rigor said.
“We saw how it is being done. It is effective because you cannot smell any foul odor coming from the treatment system,” he added.
Rigor said the city government’s eyeing to implement the waste water discharge in the Poblacion district of the city which has the largest population.