MANILA — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said on Sunday it was able to collect 110 truckloads of trash from three creeks in Manila during the first week of the “3-in-1” cleanup drive under the agency’s “Estero Blitz, Lingap Barangay and Linis Palengke” programs.
Baltazar Melgar, MMDA Flood Control and Sewerage Management Office director, said the collected garbage — equivalent to 1,200 cubic meters — came from Estero Kabulusan in Tondo and North and South Antipolo in Sta. Cruz open canal and will be transferred to the Malabon landfill.
Melgar said MMDA workers will continue their cleanup campaign until the esteros in Manila are cleared of debris such as plastics, Styrofoam, cable wires, dining table leftovers, broken mattresses, and even old car bumpers.
He said the agency’s workers are having difficulty in going inside the narrow streets of the barangays because of their heavy equipment, particularly the backhoe.
Melgar said the cleanup drive will be conducted in 273 creeks and waterways all over Metro Manila.
The program aims to maximize the so-called conveyance capacity of Metro Manila’s waterways.
Under the Estero Blitz program, the MMDA declogs and dredges esteros, creeks and other water outlets in flood-prone areas in Metro Manila to prevent flooding during the rainy season. It also aims to eradicate mosquito-breeding grounds in these areas.
It goes along with MMDA’s Linis Palengke program which aims to improve the sanitation of public markets and ensure “cleanliness, convenience, and security.”
The agency’s personnel also conduct cleaning, clearing, painting and minor repairs of market premises.
Meanwhile, the Lingap sa Barangay program is a massive cleanup drive to reduce the effects of flooding and lower the number of dengue cases in the metropolis.
The cleanup team does road and sidewalk clearing, cleaning and dredging. Fogging operations also form part of the program to protect residents from dengue-carrying mosquitoes.
Earlier, MMDA Chairman Emerson Carlos said they will take pictures of the creeks after their cleanup operations.
Carlos said they have sought the help of the Office of the Ombudsman to hold barangay officials responsible for keeping “esteros” and waterways in their areas free from debris and trash.
The MMDA will take photos of waterways that are heavily-silted prior to clearing them. Copies of the photos will be given to the barangay and the Ombudsman.
If the MMDA returns to the waterways and find that they are clogged once again, the photos taken before can be used as evidence against barangay officials.
If proven, the barangay officials may be held liable, Carlos said. PNA/northboundasia.com