(Manila, Philippines. 2016) From February to September of this year, a survey was conducted by the United Nations University- Institute for Advance Studies and Sustainability (UNU-IASS) in collaboration with the Humanist Alliance Philippines, International’s HAPI-ED and HAPI survey team, for the Metro Manila Water Valuation Survey Project. UNU-IASS is the UN research arm and is based in Tokyo. The project’s lead scientist is Uzbek-Russian Dr. Shok Jalilov.
The goal of the survey was to help establish the nature of people’s perception towards water pollution and to determine their willingness to help in the future rehabilitation of major metropolitan water bodies, such as the Pasig River and Manila Bay.
The survey was done with the intention of providing data for the possible future event that funding from outside sources, such as the UN or other international aides, would become available for water quality improvement.
The project was kick-started last February when Ms. Jennifer Gutierrez, HAPI Executive Director, and Dr. Jalilov performed research and background studies of the Metro Manila Water condition. They held a meeting with key people in managing the inland water bodies such as with the director of the Pasig River Commision, Mr. Ramil Tan, the Manila Bay Office head Mr. Nicanor Mendoza and the DOH Environment and Water Quality Head, Dr. Frank Diza.
This was then followed by a Focus Group Discussion sponsored by UNU at the Viber’s Resto last March 23 where twenty-five (25) members, with representatives from HAPI, gathered and took part.
Two surveys schedules were later conducted with the last one being completed last September.
An honorarium was given by UNU to the HAPI Survey Team upon delivery of the required task and was thanked by Ms. Jennifer Gutierrez;
“It was such an honor to be a part of an international research. This not only taught us about the current situation of the inland bodies of water within the metro (as to why we have such pollution), but also that the government cannot be solely responsible for its cleaning and maintenance. We should all be a part of the solution to the problem we created and complain about.
As HAPI continues its efforts to contribute to environmental improvement, help and support us to sustain this. Engage and be a part of our activities and be an advocate for changing mindsets that we are not separate from nature, we are a part of it.”