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Monsoon rains spawn sea of garbage in Manila Bay

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, 13 August 2018 04:06 PM

Trash fill the stretch of Manila Baywalk as raging waves spew garbage from Manila Bay during the onslaught of monsoon rains.

 

MANILA, Philippines – Waves of trash have accumulated in Manila Bay in the aftermath of a heavy downpour over the weekend.

Piles of garbage were seen reaching Roxas Boulevard eventually obstructing traffic.

Volunteers from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Manila City government continue to collect mounts of garbage believed to have come from various parts of Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

 Lahat ng basura na umanod na hanggang Roxas Boulevard ay kailangang ligpitin natin at mapanatiling malinis ang Roxas Boulevard,” said ASEC Celine Pialago, MMDA Spokesperson.

Since Saturday, clearing personnel were able to collect up to 10 truckloads of garbage from Manila Bay.

Most of them were items made of plastic and styrofoam as well as bamboo poles believed to have been disentangled from damage fish cages in nearby areas.

The MMDA expects the clearing operation along the stretch of Manila Baywalk area to last until next week. – Asher Cadapan Jr. / Marje Pelayo

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Simultaneous clean-up of rivers, canals leading to Manila Bay set on March 31

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, 20 March 2019 07:57 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has set a simultaneous clean up of canals and rivers leading to Manila Bay on March 31.

DENR Undersecretary Jonas Leones said the clean up drive will cover the river system traversing Marikina, Pasi, Tullahan and Parañaque.

“Iyong nakadikit dun sa mga river system, iyong mga esteros will be cleaned(The canals attached to the river system will be cleaned),” said Leones.

These water systems, according to Leones, serve as conduits for waste water and other pollutants to directly flow into Manila Bay, thus a clean up drive is highly necessary.

“We believe that we cannot clean Manila Bay unless we clean also the sources of pollution along this river systems,” the official added.

In line with the clean-up efforts, the DENR has ordered the closure of two of the three outfalls or water passage located between the U.S. Embassy and Manila Yacht Club to give way to the construction of a sewerage treatment plant that will filter waste water before it reaches Manila Bay.

Meanwhile, dredging operations to scoop out the 4-meter-thick mud and garbage deposits in Manila Bay’s seabed continue.

Likewise, experts are conducting tests on water samples to verify traces of dangerous and heavy metals like mercury.

“Kapag na-accumulate sa body mo iyan, (If those (heavy metals) accumulate inside your body) it will take years before it is eliminated into your body,” Leones explained.

Authorities remind the public that recreational swimming remains strictly prohibited in Manila Bay, though pollution level in its water has receded.

“Ito lang ang sabi ng aming secretary, kapag na-fit ang water for swimming ang unang lalangoy doon kami daw. Hanggat hindi pa kami lumalangoy doon talagang walang dapat mag-swimming doon, (Secretary [Cimatu] told us that once the water in Manila Bay becomes fit for swimming, we will be the first ones to swim in it. So while we are not yet swimming in it, no one should),” the official stressed.

The agency will set up sanitation facilities that informal settlers near Manila Bay can use to prevent them from disposing waste materials into the bay. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Rey Pelayo)

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DPWH begins dredging, desilting of Manila Bay

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, 5 March 2019 04:49 PM

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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Women to get free ferry rides, Intramuros museum access on March 8

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, 4 March 2019 12:31 PM

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Female passengers of Pasig River Ferry Service will be granted free rides on March 8, Friday, in line with the celebration of the National Women’s month, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced on its official twitter account last Friday (March 2).

Female visitors of Casa Manila Museum, Baluarte de San Diego and Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Manila will also get free admission in support of the celebration, the Intramuros administration said Friday.

The National Women’s Month is celebrated every March, pursuant to Proclamation No. 227 s. of 1988. The first week of March has been declared as Women’s week and March 8 as Women’s Rights and International Day of peace, under Proclamation No. 224 s. of 1988.

According to the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), the theme for this year’s celebration is “We make Change Work for Women,” which highlights the empowerment of women as active contributors to and claimholders of development.

It is also anchored on the commitment of “Malasakit at Pagbabago” (True Compassion and Real Change), the PCW said.

In celebration of the Women’s month, the PCW has been posting on its social media account several inspiring quotes from featured personalities, dubbed as “Juana Says”.

On March 4 (Monday), it featured Dr. Lucille Abad, who was conferred with the 2017 National Science Technology Week Outstanding Research and Development Award for Applied Research category.

“Scientists are gifted with great minds and women, with big hearts. My passion for science brings me closer to every Juan and Juana in need. Behind my invention is the desire to make life better for my countrymen. My latest invention, Carrageenan Plant Growth Promoter (PGP), has greatly benefited the farmers. With PGP, rice yield is increased by more than 20 percent. Truly, I am proud to say I am a scientist and a woman at that!” Abad said.

On March 3 (Sunday), the PCW quoted Mountaineer Carina Dayondon, who defied gender stereotypes by becoming the first Filipina to conquer seven highest mountains in seven continents.

“Mountaineering is a male dominated sport, because it requires physical, mental and emotional toughness. By climbing the highest point of each of the seven continents, we have proven to them that Filipinas will not get intimated and can even excel if we are given the chance and have full logistical support. We have proven this by last May 16, 2007. Together with Noelle Wenceslao and Janet Belarmino, we made a traverse on Mt. Everest and, until today, we are the only three women in the world to have ever done it, as well as a handful of men,” Dayondon said.

StartART Founder Nikki Luna was featured in Juana Says on March 2 (Saturday) for her move to develop art program for women and youth victims of human rights violations in conflict areas. She is also the founder of Power in her Story, a women-girl-child centered publishing house.

“I am an artist and I only need to be a human being to know how crucial it is to fight for the girl-child/woman who continues to be wronged by the system. Sometimes, our battles do not always need to be bloody. We do not need to guard our girls/women. We need to arm them with information, education and a strong belief that their value is and shouldn’t be validated by anyone or anything. And art happens to be an effective tool in doing this,” Luna said.

On March 1 (Friday), it featured Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, who encouraged everyone to explore a service position. Gray has been an advocate of Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) and youth education even before winning the prestigious crown.

“I urge all people to explore a service position. Many people say that charity work helps others. But in my experience, I’ve found that I also help myself. If enough of us enter a service position, we will improve the lives of ourselves and those in need while setting an example to those around us. Through a collective attitude or altruistic service, we can change the Philippines,” Gray said.

The PCW has also urged all women to wear purple every Friday beginning March 1 to advance women’s rights and gender equality. The commission is also calling on the public to break gender stereotypes and stop gender-based violence against women. – Robie de Guzman

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