MMDA starts cleanup of clogged waterways
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino announced Monday the start of month-long cleanup operations intended to unclog waterways to reduce the perennial problem of flooding in the Metro.
“We are targeting two ‘esteros’ (canals) per day,” Tolentino said in a statement.
The Flood Control and Sewerage Management Office and Metro Parkway Clearing Group were tasked to carry out the cleanup, Tolentino added.
An agency-commissioned study revealed that accumulated garbage was limiting the capacity of Metro Manila waterways to handle rainwater, resulting in street floods, instead of flowing to the main bodies of water.
Tolentino emphasized the importance of clearing waterways first before addressing the problem of pollution on Manila Bay, citing a landmark Supreme Court ruling that tasked the MMDA and other government bodies to “protect and preserve, at the first instance, our internal waters, rivers, shores, and seas polluted by human activities.”
The MMDA official said a sustainable mechanism must be put in place in approaching the Manila Bay problem.
“A sustainable effort requires the integrated management of activities among government and the citizenry, anchored on effective public-private partnership,” Tolentino said, in reference to one of the top agendas of the Aquino administration.
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