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DPWH begins dredging, desilting of Manila Bay

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, March 5th, 2019

A backhoe dredges decades worth of silt in Manila Bay

MANILA, Philippines — Using the newest machinery, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) began on Tuesday (March 5) the wide desilting activity in Manila Bay as part of its rehabilitation.

The DPWH will first work on the 1.5-kilometer area from Manila Yacht Club Breakwater to the US Embassy.

It was divided into five sectors, with each part estimated to take three months to clean.

Desilting is a process of removing waste and mire underneath the seabed of Manila Bay. The waste collected by the amphibious trucks will be dried and segregated.

The collected waste will be taken to Navotas landfill while the mire and soil will be dumped in a land in Bicutan, Taguig to check if it can still be used.

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said they are targeting to dredge around 225,000 sq. meters for this year.

“Kailangan ding i-analyze ang composition ng ide-dredge namin depende kung ano iyong toxicity kung meron man (We also need to analyze the composition of what we are going to dredge, depending on the toxicity if there is any),” Villar said.

Villar also said that the DPWH will assign 50 personnel every day to work on the desilting and dredging activity in Manila Bay.

They will also use a sewer inspection camera to determine which establishments are spewing waste into Manila Bay.

“Malaking tulong ito. Pagpasok niya sa culvert ng mga pipes tapos mayroong unathorized na pumapasok doon na mga tubo coming from non-compliant, nakikita ito. Kapag nakita niya iyan, ime-measure namin kung saan galing, anong building o anong tubo (It will be a great help when it enters the culvert of the pipes because it can detect unauthorized pipes coming from non-compliant establishments. We’ll be able to determine which building or pipe it is),” he said.

The department also estimates that it would take three years to thoroughly clean the Manila Bay seabed. —Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Joan Nano)

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MRT-3 management estimates rehabilitation will take two years

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, July 12th, 2019

The rehabilitation of the MRT-3 will still have to take two years.

The management of the Metro Rail Transit-3 said the new train rails have already arrived in the country.

Once all the rail parts arrive in October, rail replacement will begin by November.

MRT Engineer-V Engr. Oscar Bongon said they are considering suspending train operations during weekends to expedite the rehabilitation.

“Kapag nag-decide po iyong management na mapabilis pwede po tayong mag add ng additional day or i-extend iyong oras para mas mabilis po nating matapos iyong rail replacement (Once the management decides to speed up the rail replacement, we can add an additional day or extend hours),” he said.

Once the rehabilitation is finished, 20 trains will become operational from the 13 to 15 trains currently operating.

The train speed will also improve, from 30 kilometers per hour (kph) to 60 kph, reducing the travel time from one hour to 30 minutes.

Headway will also be reduced to three minutes compared to the previous 7 seven minutes.—AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

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Old structures in Manila need checking for quality, safety — Solidum

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

Courtesy : Thebureauasia.com

MANILA, Philippines – Science and Technology Undersecretary Renato Solidum has recommended placing under quality assessment all old structures in the city of Manila.

This is in reaction to Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso’s remarks about the city’s lack of a concrete risk reduction management plan or a detailed hazard map.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) Director said the local government of Manila should primarily address the city’s disaster preparedness and capability ahead of the ‘Big One’ or the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that the West Valley Fault may generate in the future.

“Tingnan kung ano ba ang kalidad ng mga bahay at gusali (Check the quality of the houses and buildings),” Solidum noted.

“Ang Manila maraming luma. Marami ding informal settlement at marami diyan non-engineered ang mga bahay (Manila has a lot of old (structures), a lot of informal settlement and most of them are non-engineered houses),” he added.

Based on a report from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the city of Manila is a ‘total failure’ when it comes to disaster resilience or its capability to respond in natural disasters and other hazards.

Solidum explained that Manila’s base being a coastal city is prone to liquefaction because it is near Manila Bay.

“Ang kaibahan ng Quezon city sa Manila ay matigas ang foundation ng Quezon city. (Ang) Manila (ay) hindi, kundi malambot (The difference between Quezon City and Manila is that Quezon City has a solid foundation. With Manila, no. It has a yielding base),” Solidum said.

The Quezon City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (QCRRMC) has received the 2018 Gawad Kalasag Award as the Best Local DRRMC under the Highly Urbanized Category.

They have assigned six district evacuation sites other than Quezon City circle.

According to the head of the QCDRRMO Myke Marasigan, they have included in their contingency plan the color-coded alert level to be able to immediately respond to earthquake situations.

“If the magnitude and the epicenter is near Quezon city, for example 5.5 below, then we could always trigger the yellow alert meaning on-call, standby and do damage assessment immediately,” Marasigan explained.

The QCDRRMO also conducts regular earthquake drills to prepare the residents for potential ground shaking.

The city government is making sure of preparing all barangays since they cannot rescue everyone at the same time.

“They will be ready as an individual, ibig sabihin meron kang (meaning you have your) ‘Go Bag’ ready or disaster kits na sinasabi natin,” Marasigan said.

“Susunod niyan as a family kung nagusap-usap na ba tayo pag halimbawa lumildol magkakahiwalay tayo saan tayo mag-mi-meetup? (Next is the family. Have you set up a plan that in case of an earthquake and you’ve been separated from one another, where should you meet?),” he added.

According to Solidum, the city of Manila is able to prepare its residents but it is important that they do it systematically. – with details from Rey Pelayo.

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DPWH to sue driver of truck that caused part of Roxas Blvd. to collapse

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, June 24th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is planning to file charges against the driver of a dump truck which caused a part of the Roxas Boulevard to collapse on Sunday while it was transporting sand for the ongoing rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

DPWH district engineer Mikunug Macud said they would file charges against the driver of the 14-wheeled truck for violating the load limit and passing through a secondary road where trucks are banned from traversing.  

The incident happened at past 1:00 a.m. along Roxas Boulevard corner Remedios street in Ermita, Manila.

The truck, which came from Pampanga, was heading to Manila Baywalk to deliver tons of sand for the Manila Bay rehabilitation project when it fell into a hole.

According to the truck driver, he was supposed to take Roxas Boulevard’s main road but traffic law enforcers allegedly directed them to pass through the service road to give way to a fun run event.

Macud said the truck carrying sand weighed about 42 tons while the Remedios street could only accommodate 20 tons.

The portion of the road that collapsed was built over a double barrel box culvert, which served as one of the city’s main drainage system. It was built in the 1970s.

“Dapat ang driver, alam niya ‘yung dapat daanan niya… hindi naman siya talaga dapat dumaan diyan kasi mayroon naman silang mga designated area,” Macud said.

The Remedios street was temporarily closed to traffic as authorities are still trying to extricate the truck out of the hole.

The DPWH hopes to immediately remove the truck to commence repairs on the damaged road. (with details from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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