2 Metro LGUs get boats for bay cleanupBy Kristine L. Alave
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has donated an initial four “trash boats” to help local officials fish garbage out of Manila Bay.
“The four are an initial batch. The DENR will acquire 20 more within the year and these will be distributed to different LGUs (local government units) as part of our efforts to clean up Manila Bay and its tributaries,” Environment Undersecretary Demetrio Ignacio Jr. said during the turnover on Saturday.
Each 30-foot long boat, flat-bottomed for stability and designed to be maneuverable in small waterways, costs more than P1.7 million.
It is equipped with a rotating rake-like device that can scoop up to three tons of garbage at a depth of three feet.
The garbage is dumped onto the boat deck where it is manually segregated into sorting bins before being transported to the appropriate disposal facility.
Each boat comes with a set of tools and a one-year service warranty from the local manufacturer.
In exchange for the trash boats, the LGUs are required to provide the manpower and the funds to clean up their tributaries that lead to Manila Bay. They must also collect the garbage twice a week and submit records to the DENR.
In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled the DENR had a mandate to clean up Manila Bay, renowned for its dramatic sunsets and evening cruises.
In 2010, the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Greenpeace, Ecowaste Coalition and other civil society groups said that most of the garbage they collected during their Manila Bay cleanups were made of plastic.
Biodegradable trash was the next largest pollutant in the bay at 10.99 percent. This was followed by glass, 5.77 percent; metals, 2.2 percent; hazardous waste, 1.38 percent and rubber, 0.55 percent.
That year, the DENR said it recovered 756,986 kilograms of trash from the country’s shorelines and waterways. Of that number, 622,448 kg consisted of plastic and rubber items.
Receiving the trash boats under a deed of donation were Mayor Alfredo Lim of Manila; Mayor Antolin Oreta III of Malabon City; Mayor Orencio Gabriel of Obando, Bulacan, and engineer George Fojasand of Cavite’s Environment and Natural Resources Office who represented Gov. Jonvic Remulla.