Yet Another “Master Plan” to Boost Manila Bay Tourism


A TV report on Bandila that aired some time this week had me a little flabbergasted.

department of tourism master planAccording to a report from Jasmine Romero, the Department of Tourism had created yet another “master plan” to “level up” the country’s tourism and part of that masterplan involves turning Roxas Boulevard into a tourist attraction.

Let’s forego the discussion of whether or not the fact that a government agency made a master plan is actually NEWS.  Never mind, also, that the featured image carried by the online version of the TV news report is actually of tourists soaking in Boracay and not Manila Bay.

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Thing is, I simply can’t remember just how many master plans have been made for the country’s tourism.  It seems every administration has one and they’re usually introduced right around the start of the new President’s term when it would have some kind of chance of being implemented.  The fact that this latest tourism master plan has been unveiled near the end of Pnoy’s term should probably be a huge hint that it doesn’t stand a chance of being substantially implemented.

If the plan for turning Roxas Boulevard into a tourist attraction means putting up covered walks and comfort rooms, it would still be an abysmal failure when you think of what really ought to be done: CLEAN UP MANILA BAY.

mmda-ferryRight after the MMDA paraded its Pasig River showboat, the latest brain-fart that in no way will actually ease traffic congestion on EDSA, we now have the Department of Tourism telling people that foreign tourists will want to stroll near the toxic waters of Manila Bay.

And proof that good intentions are worthless without actions, let me remind you that in 2011 the DILG made a big announcement about “bringing back the glorious beauty of Manila Bay.

In a bid to bring back the glorious beauty of Manila Bay, Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo led Metro Manilans last weekend in the massive clean-up drive of Metro waterways, rivers and creeks dubbed as One Day, One Bay.

Robredo said One Day One Bay aims to encourage Metro LGUs, the general public and other concerned sectors to participate in the drive to restore the innate beauty of Manila Bay.

“We all enjoy watching the sunset at the Manila Bay. Let this not be a thing of the past. Let us act now to save Manila Bay and take part in this clean-up revolution,” he said.

That was way back in 2011 when Jesse Robredo was still alive.  Now that nearly a third of 2014 has passed and intramurals for the 2016 elections has begun, I don’t think Pnoy’s administration was at all serious about cleaning up Manila Bay because it still pretty much smells like an open septic tank.

More than 5 years after the Supreme Court ordered government agencies to clean up Manila Bay, “nothing much has improved” in terms of water quality.

This was the bad news shared by Manila Bay Coordinating Office (MBCO) executive director Noel Gaerlan to Rappler during a Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) event on Friday, February 14.

“In fact, if we’re talking about seasonality, halos pareho lang ang trend (the trend is practically the same). It’s even increasing, if we’re talking about coliform levels.”

An indicator of water quality, coliform is a bacteria found in the fecal matter of all warm-blooded animals, including humans. The higher the coliform levels, the more likely other bacteria are present, and the more polluted the water.

The Writ of Continuing Mandamus for the rehabilitation of Manila Bay called on the government in 2008 to restore Manila Bay water to class “B” level, meaning fit for swimming and other forms of contact recreation. The ideal coliform level for this water class is 1,000 MPN (most probable number per 100 milliliters).

So what’s the current coliform level of Manila Bay now? In the millions, said Gaerlan.

Well, really, did we expect President Aquino to achieve anything with his term? We knew that this administration was full of BS to begin with, so the proliferation of master plans and lack of actual implementation should be no surprise at all — especially for an administration led by someone who should be writing with crayon.

(Post Script: Ever come across the 3M waste marketing strategy?  Supposedly, in coming up with band-aid strips, it deliberately sold them in packs of three.  The usual small cut or wound lasts for about 4 days and with a pack of just three strips, people buying the pack would be one strip short.  This would lead the buyer to get two packs instead of just one, immediately doubling their sale. 

How does this relate to the Aquino Administration? Well, call it crazy, but perhaps the huge number of unfinished and unaccomplished projects will be Pnoy’s argument for people to vote for whoever he endorses.)

19 Replies to “Yet Another “Master Plan” to Boost Manila Bay Tourism”

  1. Underneath the “beauty” of Manila lies the stinking cesspool that is the bay and the increasing number of poor people living there.

    It’s quite sad that these developments only cater to those with the money and centralizing Manila is still the government’s priority.

  2. As long as the Squatters are there; pollution will always be a problem …as long as Filipinos have no disciplne in cleanliness; pollution will always be there. Filipinos discard or throw away their trash anywwhere. They also piss (urinate) anywhere (male , female, and in-between).

    Change first the mindset of these people; before planning some kind of tourist belts. And by the way; it will become another “tourist belt” for: “bugaws”; prostitutes of all kinds; child prostitutes; and all kinds of shaddy characters… “mag-ingat sa HIV, STD, “tulo”, “kuto”, vaginal warts, etc”…do you think foreign tourists are stupid?

  3. I thought it was to build more malls selling the same crap? I mean, that’s what I’m seeing than anything public related..apart from Rizal Park at least.

    It’s great that they’ll improve Roxas Boulevard and in turn Manila Bay but the question has always been “when?” Do they need to wait for another foreigner to blog about it?

    and when would start building more parks and museums instead of more malls? An idea for tourism is experience something that is not commonly seen in their hometowns. and I doubt that they’re not trying to attract other 3rd world countries here but 1st world countries.

  4. This just in: To improve general morale of the populace, Manila’s sewers have just been opened to the public to swim in! coz its cleaner than Manila Bay!

  5. You can have Master Plan number one or Master Plan number one million, all the time no one works and the budget is stolen nothing will change.
    Manila is over crowded, very polluted and getting around is difficult.
    Culturally uninspiring and boring.

    Instead of trying to attract visitors to a city that is an eyesore you should identify your core strength’s.The stunning islands with some of the worlds best beaches and also some of the best diving spots the world can offer.

    Another reason why you fail to attract millions of visitors is because you do not have an open skies policy. If you did you would be able to tap into the package tourist market which is huge in Europe. Families like to book flights, accommodation and transportation all in one package. Get on the plane arrive in another country and everything is done for them. Thailand and Malaysia to name just two countries both cater for the huge package tourist market.
    Tour operators book thousands of flights and hotel rooms a year in advance, then go about selling them to families at discounted rates.

      1. JT Jerzy

        Correct, if it happened the few who gain at the expense of 100 million would lose their closed shop monopoly.

  6. Oh please another master plan again? They can’t even make their plan of building a new premiere airport in Bulacan feasible.

  7. A couple years ago I saw a guy catch a catfish and bring it on shore on the sidewalk. The water is so dirty in Manila Bay that not only would I never throw my line in that water, but if I did get so stupid as to do so, I would never touch my fishing gear. What on earth would that guy do with that fish? Surely he would not eat it?
    Manila Bay is a cesspool and should be filled in with concrete so it is not the ecological disaster it is now. No normqal person would ever walk along Baywalk a second time after seeing and smelling it once.

    1. I have done it several times, during storms when no one was around…and no stench! as the wind took the stench upward.
      ….I am not ur avg. guy though.

  8. “The ideal coliform level for this water class is 1,000 MPN (most probable number per 100 milliliters). So what’s the current coliform level of Manila Bay now? In the millions, said Gaerlan.”

    If the LGU doesn’t have any plans to remove the squatters living (pissing, and pretty much do anything like they own the place) under those seawall then reviving the Manila Bay is already next to impossible.

  9. The last time I was at NAIA I was set upon by scam artists before I even got out of the actual terminal. Not a single taxi-cab driver had the same rate. Double,triple what the actual fare should have been, to UN AVE. and Roxas Blvd….the fare could be P300 and some were asking P2,500! what a bunch of fuckin thieving scumbags.When a person knows how much something costs and someone tries to charge 7X’s that price, it is difficult not to hate those people. I know I hate the thieving POS!Feel slightly sorry for them as well, but only slightly as I am not the one who put their thieving asses here.

  10. Trying to promote Metro Manure as a tourist destination is like asking newly weds to take a honeymoon in a Delhi back street abortion clinic. It is not going to happen.

    According to the United Nations latest global warming report NO ONE in the Philippines is taking global warming serious. In another 40 years a third of Metro Manila could disappear under water.

    1. “In another 40 years a third of Metro Manila could disappear under water.”

      Philippine’s Advert 20 years from now: Welcome to Asia’s Venice!

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