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‘Estero blitz’ clears 1,124 truckloads of garbage

Manila, Philippines — With the rainy season just around the corner, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said it is about to complete its Estero Blitz flood mitigation campaign to declog Metro Manila’s major waterways.

Engineer Emma Quiambao, MMDA Flood Control and Sewerage Management Office director, said last on the list of 16 esteros being cleared of silt and garbage before the onset of the rainy season is Estero de Pandacan in Pandacan, Manila.

“We are set to conclude our clean-up drive this Friday,” said Quiambao.

As of yesterday, the campaign has removed 1,124 truckloads of garbage, equivalent to 7,190 cubic meters of waste, from 15 major waterways.

Quiambao said the campaign has declogged Viente Reales creek in Valenzuela; Tanigue Creek in Caloocan; Letre open canal, Tonsuya, and Pinagsabugan Creek in Malabon; Mariblo creek, Anaran creek, and Tanique Creek in Quezon City; Concepcion creek/Bayanbayanan Box Culvert in Marikina City; Hagonoy Retarding Pond/Hagonoy Creek in Taguig City; Sapang Buwaya Creek, San Isidro in Parañaque; Pasong Diablo Creek in Alabang, Muntinlupa; Maricaban Creek in Pasay; Estero Tripa de Gallina from Malate in Manila and from Buendia Avenue to Zobel Roxas in Pasay.

Most of the collected was composed of plastics and Styrofoam.

“Imagine if we have not removed all these trash from the waterways. We hope to hasten the flood receding rate and minimize if not totally eliminate flooding and its adverse effects on the Metro Manila residents,” she said.

Quiambao said the informal settlers near the creeks are the major contributors to the clogging of drainages.

The MMDA collected 1,296 cubic meters of garbage, equivalent to 237 truckloads, from Hagonoy Creek in Taguig, the most from any single area covered by the Estero Blitz.

Now on its fourth year, the Estero Blitz aims to maximize the “conveyance capacity” of open waterways in Metro Manila to enable it to accommodate larger volume of floodwaters during the rainy season, hastening the flood receding rate and minimizing flooding.

Defogging and misting operations are also part of the clean up program to help eliminate mosquito-breeding grounds.

MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino earlier said that flooding in Metro Manila is inevitable, but can be mitigated, and one way is through clearing the esteros of garbage.