MANILA BAY CLEAN-UP: Government aims to complete rehabilitation by July

The Philippine government is aiming to complete the rehabilitation of 1.5-kilometer shore area of Manila Bay by July this year.

The “Sagip Manila Bay” clean-up spearheaded by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is working double time to finish the extensive works of removing debris, plastics, other solid wastes and dissolved solids in the next three months.

It is estimated that to date, the total volume of removed muck and silt from 20 meters distance from shore to bay and thickness/depth of two meters is at 18,000 cubic meters.

DPWH Undersecretary for Technical Services and Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations Emil Sadain said Manila Bay will soon have cleaner water and be fit again for swimming and other forms of recreation.

In January 2019, DPWH launch the “Sagip Manila Bay” clean-up program with more than 2,000 volunteers to remove garbages dumped along the Manila Bay shores.

In March 2019, DPWH Secretary started desilting operations by deploying a fleet of equipment composed of amphibious excavators, dumping scows, dump trucks, debris segregator, street sweepers, and vacuum sewer jet cleaners.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and Philippine Coast Guard are closely working with the DPWH in conducting water quality monitoring and bathymetric surveying of the desilting sites to monitor the progress.

Since the start of the clean-up drive, the average amount of dissolved oxygen level, which is one of the primary parameters under the DENR water quality guidelines of around 4.7mg/L prior to the cleanup activity, has improved to the minimum dissolved oxygen level of 6mg/L necessary for sustaining aquatic life.