The February 12 Manila Bay synchronized sunset viewing was a success in the sense that hundreds of people turned up to show just how misinformed they were.
One picture says it all, really.
Simply put, the site of the proposed Manila Solar City development will rise on the CCP side of the bay and at this time of year, sets at a point in the middle of the bay. Â (For more information regarding the various points where the sun sets on Manila Bay, please click here.)
It seems children from the Malate Catholic School and a nearby Maritime college were grossly misinformed about the sun’s trajectory, something that ought to be brought up with the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education.
The fact that these kids turned up by the hundreds, along with people whom I assume were their teachers, gives me the impression that these children were merely used to swell up the number of people attending the SOS Save Manila Bay Synchronized Sunset viewing.
Was this made part of their academic requirement? Were their parents informed that instead of going home after class, they were made to stand on the boardwalk to form a human chain? Â If this were a media event paid for and arranged by still unknown “benefactors” were these children made to sign the appropriate waivers? Was the Department of Labor and Employment informed?
And the biggest question on my mind, really, is do these children really know enough about the issue to make an informed opinion?
It would be absolutely SICKENING to find out that these children are just being USED/EXPLOITED for a well funded AGENDA. Â It takes money to mount such an event and have a couple of three TV stations cover it — especially on a date that coincides with the proclamation rallies of candidates running for the 2013 elections.
Apart from the high school children who were there, there were several dozen students from a nearby maritime college (a school that trains Seamen) and I shudder to think that these future seamen don’t know that the sun sets at different points on the horizon depending on your location and the time of the year. Â What kind of education are these future ship officers getting?
The thing is, contributing to the mal-education of these children are the likes of Paulo Alcazaren, Jim Libiran, Carlos Celdran, and others in the SOS Save Manila Bay Facebook Page.
On top of erroneously saying that Manila Bay’s sunset will be blocked or will disappear because of the proposed Manila Solar City reclamation project, this group continues to put out pictures that grossly misrepresent the issues at hand.
Apparently, a lot of people are being told that the reclamation on the bay will span the entire length of the bay from the US Embassy to the Manila Yacht Club.
Proof of the extend of the misinformation was that I heard some of the kids and even of the elders thoughtless repeating the mistaken claim.
Never mind that the plans for the reclamation have been made available to the public through TWO consultations last year, one of them held at the Aristocrat Restaurant near the Malate Church.
A fact that some members of SOS Manila Bay continues to deny.
What all of this tells me is that there is a prevalence of “agendas” and “economic interests” masquerading as an “altruisticÂ advocacy” hinged on deceptive practices that only do a disservice to the public.
There are those who openly confide that they have an interest in helping the Manila Goldcoast Development Corporation navigate its way through becoming “socially acceptable”.
And there are those whose only interest is that the proposed reclamation will mar the view of Manila Bay from their condominium window.
The others who probably supported the synchronized sunset viewing were probably owners of buildings and establishments along Roxas Boulevard. Â And I wonder, really, if these building owners and restaurant owners are actually up to code when it comes to their waste water treatment systems.
Here’s a report from the PIA on the state of waste water treatment of residences and establishments in places surrounding Manila Bay:
There are only 48% of private homes with hygienic septic tanks. Of the household surveyed in the five provinces, some 29,933 are non-compliant and only 27,408 have approved septic tanks.
There are even lesser commercial establishments with hygienic septic tanks at 31% and factories at 24%. There are only 522 establishments and 33 factories which have provided adequate human waste disposal facilities.
As to commercial establishments which have constructed wastewater treatment facilities, there are only 1,599. Also only 20% of factories have this treatment facility since only 109 of them are compliant.
It is no secret that the waste water coming from the houses and buildings as well as restaurants are the number one cause of water pollution in the bay. Â This is not to mention that active shipping and port operations in the area contribute immensely to the bay’s pollution — not to mention fertilizer and pesticide run off from farms in provinces surrounding Metro Manila. (For an article on the state of water pollution in Manila Bay, click here.)
So, really, it’s kind of hard to take “Save Manila Bay” seriously when it seems they don’t have an inkling about where the sun sets and what really keeps Manila Bay polluted.
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