State of water : Philippines
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State of water environmental issues
Philippines + Overview
+ River Basins
+ Sea Areas
+ Enclosed Water Bodies
+ Groundwater

Sea Areas

Bays and Coastal Waters cover an area of 266,000 km², while oceanic waters cover 1,934,000 km². The total length of the coastline is 36,289 km. the Philippine coastline is irregular, with numerous bays, gulfs, and islets. Manila Bay, a sheltered harbor, is the country’s busiest commercial hub. About 60 percent of Philippine municipalities and cities are coastal, with 10 of the largest cities located along the coast. These coastal cities and municipalities are inhabited by about 60 percent of the total population.

Manila Bay is an important economic resource with competing uses. The surrounding catchment area covers about 17,000 km² and is home to an estimated 16 million people. The largest harbor in the country is located in Manila Bay with primary port services catering to both national and international maritime traffic. Increasing urbanization has damaged the coastal habitats and estuaries, which serve as spawning grounds of many economically important fishes.

Source: Philippines: Environment Monitor 2003

Water Quality

EMB monitored a total of 39 bays and coasts in the Philippines for a long time and regularly since 1996. Manila Bay has its own monitoring program. Except for Puerto Galera Bay, which is a protected seascape, the data indicated that 64 percent had DO levels below 5mg/l, the minimum criterion set for waters suitable as a tourist zone, fishery spawning area, and contact recreation or swimming area. In the coasts of Mandaue to Minglanilla in Cebu (Central Visayas), DO levels varied from 0 to 14mg/l, which indicate that the ecosystem is already undergoing “stress” during certain periods.

Except in Cawacawa (Zamboanga City), the maximum values of BOD were all within the criterion set for Class SB waters of 5mg/1. Manila Bay has BOD levels that are generally within fishery water quality criterion. However, seasonal high organic loadings from rivers draining into the bays and in particular, Manila Bay, also result in harmful algal blooms (HABs) that pose a continuing threat to marine resources and public health.

Figure 1 : Total Coliform of Bathing Beaches in Manila Bay 1998-2001
Figure 1 : Total Coliform of Bathing Beaches in Manila Bay 1998-2001
Source: DENR-Environment Management Bureau

Figure 2 : Fecal Coliform count of Bathing Beaches in Manila Bay, 1998-2001
Figure 2 : Fecal Coliform count of Bathing Beaches in Manila Bay, 1998-2001
Source: DENR-Environment Management Bureau

Source: Philippines: Environment Monitor 2003

+ Overview
+ River Basins
+ Sea Areas
+ Enclosed Water Bodies
+ Groundwater
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