Trash mounts as waters ebb: ‘We all contributed to this’Philippine Daily Inquirer
The tons of garbage collected from the Manila Bay seawall and which filled more than 200 dump trucks last week are crumbs compared to what lies ahead.
Authorities expect the massive, post-disaster cleanup around Metro Manila to take days or even weeks following the flash floods that covered many parts of the capital earlier this week.
“This is our collective liability. All of us in one way or another contributed to this,” said Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chair Francis Tolentino, who oversaw cleanup operations in the worst-hit areas in Quezon City and Marikina City on Friday.
“The garbage we see now is definitely greater than what we had collected along Roxas Boulevard (facing Manila Bay) last week,” he said, referring the vast carpet of trash that washed up on the recently repaired seawall due to the storm surge triggered by Tropical Storm “Gener.”
He noted that “30 to 35 percent of Metro Manila’s garbage is not collected,” especially the trash thrown into rivers and waterways.
In Quezon City, waste management officials said they had already collected close to 200 tons of garbage in just four calamity areas since Thursday.
In Manila, the agency managing Rizal Park said it would need volunteers to help clean up the 52-hectare area also known as Luneta.
Kenneth Montegrande, communications head of the National Parks Committee of the Philippine Tourism Authority, said the heavy rains and floods damaged the gardens and other landscaped areas of the park.
Montegrande estimated the cost of the damage at P5 million
Parts of the roof of the Quirino Grandstand also needed repairs, he said. “The park remains open to the public but needs cleaning up and we need volunteers to speed up its restoration,” he added.
Road repairs set
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is set to start road repairs in areas affected by floods in Metro Manila.
DPWH Undersecretary Alfredo Tolentino said priority will be given to seven arterial roads including Edsa, C5 Road, Roxas Boulevard, Taft Avenue, and Quezon Boulevard.
He said the agency had already started “squaring” segments of these major thoroughfares for asphalt-laying operations.
Work will also start to “reblock” sections of Connecticut Street in San Juan City.
Tolentino said it would take at least four days to repair a 20-meter long Bosoboso section of Marcos Highway in Antipolo City that was damaged during the days of heavy rains.
“The heavy rains from the nearby mountains scoured what was beneath the roadway, thus causing the pavement to collapse. There is a reinforced concrete pipe beneath the road but it was unable to contain the excessive volume of rain,” the official explained. Niña Calleja, Nancy C. Carvajal, Jeannette I. Andrade and Tina Santos