MANILA — With the recently-concluded “Estero Blitz” cleanup campaign of major waterways in the metropolis, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) have started the cleanup of Pasig River not only for flood mitigation purpose but to smoothen the operation of the river ferry service as well.
Using MMDA floating garbage boats and those of PRRC and the City of Manila, MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said they have so far collected seven truckloads of garbage strewn along a big portion of Pasig River which have caused problems on the ferry’s engines that run along the major tributary.
“Those garbage, including water hyacinths, have been clogging our boats’ engines and screws,” Tolentino said.
The joint MMDA-PRRC cleanup also aims to minimize the river’s stench and add comfort to ferry passengers.
Tolentino said the inter-agency clean-up that started last Thursday will be a continuing effort and other local government units have signified their desire to join the campaign.
“Despite the magnitude of the garbage problem, we are optimistic that restoring life along Pasig River is no longer far-fetched now that the government and the private sector have started to pool their efforts to revive it,” he said.
Meanwhile, the MMDA also renewed its appeal to the public to dispose their waste properly as the agency braces for the upcoming rainy season.
Since the rainy season, Emma Quiambao, MMDA Flood Control and Sewerage Management Director, said the volume of collected garbage at their flood control pumping station has increased.
She added that during summer the agency collected less than a truck of garbage everyday but this rainy season the agency collected two trucks per day.
“We can collect 20 truckloads of garbage daily from our own 20 large pumping stations,” she added.
Because of this scenario, she expressed worry that some of the pumping stations could not perform well due to the garbage that are making their way to the pumps’ systems.
The City of Manila has the most number of pumping station, 21 while Malabon has 16. Other pumping stations are located in 15 other cities and municipality in Metro Manila.
The two newest floodwater pumping stations have been installed in Barangays Salapan and Rivera, among the flood prone areas in San Juan City.
Currently, the MMDA is focusing its efforts on clearing the drainage system particularly manholes.
“We will also declog our drainage system especially the lateral ones, beside the roads. We will also open and clean manholes using crane and backhoe,” Quiambao said.
Quiambao said the flooding that was experienced in some parts of Metro Manila last week was due to the clogging of the drainage system.
“If our manholes are blocked with waste materials, definitely we will experience flooding when it rains,” she added.