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Garbage clutter Manila Bay as rains continue

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, 11 June 2018 11:12 AM


MANILA, Philippines – Piles of garbage float on Manila Bay in Roxas Boulevard as rains continue to pour since the weekend.

Personnel from  Manila City’s Department of Public Service on Monday said they have been collecting at least a truckload of rubbish every day since the official start of the rainy season last week as declared by weather bureau PAGASA.

Items recovered from the trash include styrofoam and plastic materials as well as bamboo trunks believed to be from damaged fish cages in nearby lakes.

The Manila City hall has been continuously clearing the Bay since 5:00 a.m. Monday, June 11. – Asher Cadapan Jr.


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DPWH, PRRC ramp up clean-up of esteros leading to Manila Bay

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, 19 February 2019 08:53 AM

Estero de San Miguel

The Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) together with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is speeding up the cleaning of esteros (tributaries) in Manila City that lead to Manila Bay.

An estimated 50 families are living along esteros.

Lacking proper toilet facilities and garbage bins, their waste inevitably ends up in esteros that are connected to the Pasig River leading to Manila Bay.

Noria Gimba’s family is among those who have made the Estero de San Miguel their home.

“Yung dati sinabihan na rin kami na i-relocate. Yung iba tapos na, yung iba hindi pa,  tulad ko hanggang ngayon nandiyan pa… kung ako papipiliin, gusto ko dito muna kasi nag-aaral yung mga ko sa Geronimo,” Gimba said.

The Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission is continuously conducting clean-up drives.

Rehabilitation efforts in Manila Bay have also ramped up the dredging and cleaning up of esteros in Manila.

“Lahat ng rehabilitasyon sa Ilog Pasig ay nakakaapekto rin kasi sa rehabilitasyon ng Manila Bay, kaya very particular na rin ang DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) sa pag-improve sa ating mga waterways,” said George Oliver dela Rama, head of the Public Information, Advocacy, and Tourism Division of the PRRC.

In line with this, even issues on the relocation of informal settlers in Manila City are expected to be resolved immediately. — Nel Maribojoc

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First in PH media: UNTV underwater drone explores Manila Bay’s murky seabed

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, 7 February 2019 02:33 PM

MANILA, Philippines — On the surface, the sight of Manila Bay may be viewed as clean and fresh as if it has returned to its original, unspoiled state.

But what seems to be a beautiful sight on the surface of the bay is not what it looks like below.

For the first time in the history of Philippine media, UNTV News and Rescue team explored what lies beneath the inviting waters of Manila Bay.

Using UNTV’s underwater ROV (remotely operated vehicle) drone, the team first took a look at the section of the bay in Padre Faura.

Aside from the low tide, the underwater drone was not able to swim farther, but it was able to capture a long stretch of marshy, muddy ground in the area.

Next stop was in Remedios area.  

The underwater drone was able to reach 10-feet below the water surface but not a single sign of life was seen. Instead, the drone captured an assortment of trash, a lot of them, that had taken the place of corals on the seafloor.

On the surface, the water seemed clear but turned yellowish to greenish to deep black as the drone swam deeper.

As a proof of Manila Bay’s “dark secrets” underneath, the underwater ROV got tangled with some plastic trash when it emerged from the water.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) admitted that Manila Bay’s seabed has grown ‘mountains’ of garbage that were washed to this portion of the bay in the past 40 to 50 years.

The DENR has decided to dredge Manila Bay 300 meters from the shoreline and up to three meters below to clean out the garbage from the seabed. The operations will be carried out with the help of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

“Hahabulin po namin ang tamang lalim at ang goal namin (ay) una, ma-expose ang beach materials o ang sand. Pangalawa, sa pamamagitan din ng pagtanggal na iyan, hopefully, it will contribute sa improvement ng water quality,” explained DPWH, Bureau of Equipment director Toribio Noel Ilaw.

The DENR, meanwhile, reported a decline in fecal coliform level in the waters of Manila Bay.

Based on the test conducted on water samples in the Padre Faura area, from 330 million most probable number (MPN) per 100 milliliters before the rehabilitation efforts began, the coliform content reduced to 54 million MPN/100ml and even lower to 7.5 million MPN/100ml.

In Remedios area, fecal coliform level reduced from 160 million to 35 million MPN/100ml while in Manila Yatch Club area, it reduced from 1.3 billion to 52 million MPN/100ml at present.

“(Paano) bumaba? The Manila Zoo was the big culprit and when they closed it, they did not dump their waste. (So) there is now 52 million from a high of 1.3 billion,” noted Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.

Cimatu added that the crackdown on establishments polluting Manila Bay by ordering ‘cease and desist’ and issuance of notice of violations prompted a stop in waste discharges and contributed to the lowering of coliform level in the bay.

Despite these improvements, environment and health officials still do not recommend recreational swimming as health hazards of contaminated water remain high anywhere in Manila Bay. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from JL Asayo)

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‘No swimming zone’ strictly enforced in Manila Bay

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, 6 February 2019 12:24 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Authorities have installed orange barriers at the baywalk area along Roxas Boulevard to bar people from swimming in Manila Bay.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) have assigned a ‘no swimming zone’ as recreational swimming remains harmful to humans due to the high coliform content in Manila Bay’s waters.

The orange barriers where placed three meters away from the concrete breakwater at the seaside as directed by the Manila Bay Inter-Agency Task Force during a site inspection on Wednesday (February 6).

Several members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) take rounds in monitoring the area to make sure that no one would go beyond the barricade and attempt to swim in the bay.

Aside from health risks of contact with the contaminated waters, authorities decided to strictly ban recreational swimming in Manila Bay because of an incident involving an 11-year-old girl nearly who drowned in the bay on Tuesday (February 5).

Rhianne Janiel Soriano was swimming with her friends when she accidentally drank water from the bay which endangered her life.

MMDA personnel was able to rescue the girl and immediately rushed her to the nearest hospital.

Rhianne remains in critical condition due to the large volume of dark, dirty water deposits in her lungs.

“Marami. Kapag nakita ninyo po, ang itim nang nainom niya. Itim. Para siyang…hindi ko alam kung burak iyon o nainom niya lang iyon sa tubig. Madumi po siya,” described Rhianne’s mother Marivic Mabilas.

Rhianne remains inside the pediatric intensive care unit (ICU) of Ospital ng Maynila for treatment. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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