Erap orders clearing, declogging of creeks, drainages in city

The Daily Tribune| Written by: Tribune Wires| August 29, 2016

Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada has ordered a thorough cleanup of all clogged drainages and creeks to reduce the risks of flashfloods in the city this rainy season.


Estrada ordered the declogging operations after the city’s Task Force Manila Cleanup that has been conducting road clearing operations discovered that most of the sewerage in the city, especially those in Divisoria, Binondo and Quiapo, are clogged with tons of refuse, mostly fruit and vegetable peelings, plastic wrappers and containers.
“It’s disappointing that the drainage systems that are built to prevent flooding have become garbage dumps. People have never learned,” the mayor said.
Estrada added this is one of the principal reasons he has initiated the citywide road clearing operations: to drive away undisciplined illegal vendors that dirty the city and clog the sewerage with their garbage.
Estrada said the unabated dumping of garbage in the drainages and creeks has been a serious concern of the city government since he assumed office in 2013; he has since completed 51 flood control projects in Manila worth P1.8 billion.
Of the 8,700 tons of garbage Manila produces everyday, 30 percent or roughly 2,610 tons end up in drainage pipes and esteros, he pointed out.
“Again, I’m appealing to the public to practice proper waste disposal. We all suffer when there are floods,” Estrada said.
Task Force Manila Cleanup head Che Borromeo said he is now coordinating with the Office of the City Engineer to carry out Estrada’s directive.
“For such a long time, those vendors we have been removing have clogged our drainages. Puro plastic ang laman ng mga drainage natin,” Borromeo lamented.
On Juan Luna and Sta. Elena streets in Binondo, which had been the subject of repeated clearing operations, Borromeo said many drainage canals are so choked with garbage that they can no longer absorb floodwaters during heavy downpour, causing flashfloods.


Last week, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority collected 20 truckloads of silt and garbage from the drainage along Taft Avenue, from Padre Faura to P. Ocampo.


Workers found out that the drainage was clogged with cement residues from the concrete mixers used for the ongoing construction of a residential building. The building’s contractor was identified as New San Jose Builders.