MANILA, Feb. 22 A total of 50 truckloads or 365 cubic meters of garbage were collected from the "esteros" or waterways of the cities of Manila and Pasay by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) in the first week of the agencys 3-in-1 Estero Blitz program.
During its initial implementation, the Estero Blitz only covered creeks in flood-prone areas in the metropolis, said Emma Quiambao, MMDA flood control head.
But with the "3-in-1 Estero Blitz," Quiambao said public markets and the concerned barangays will also be subjected to the cleanup operation.
She said part of the cleanup drive is fumigation to exterminate dengue-causing mosquitoes in various barangays.
Quiambao said the agency started the Estero Blitz at Estero de Cabulusan and the wet market in Pritil, Tondo, Manila last Feb. 17 and 18.
On Saturday, the MMDA also cleaned the Sto. Ñino creek in Pasay.
Quiambao said 14 truckloads of garbage were hauled from the Estero de Cabulusan and 36 truckloads from the Sto. Niño creek.
The collected garbage composed mostly of plastics and Styrofoam.
For this year, the MMDA targets at least 31 creeks in Metro Manila. The cleanup drive is expected to be finished on July 11.
Quiambao said the agency will not only clean public markets but will also conduct lectures regarding solid waste management.
After cleaning creeks and public markets in Pasay and Manila, the MMDA will proceed to Caloocan City where there is frequent flooding due to overflowing creeks.
In 2014, the agency collected 1,159 truckloads or 7,550 cubic meters of garbage from 15 creeks in the metropolis.
Meanwhile, Cora Jimenez, MMDA general manager, expressed hope the public will cooperate in maintaining the cleanliness of the creeks and public markets.
Earlier, MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino urged barangay officials to continue the cleaning of creeks and markets after the 3-in-1 cleanup operation in Tondo.
"What we're doing will not just stop here. You must continue doing this and maintain it. Under the Solid Waste Management Act, or Republic Act No. 9003, it is the duty of the barangay to reduce the amount of waste," Tolentino told the citizens and officials in Pritil.
The MMDA head said the operation will also cover 20 more barangays in Pasay and Valenzuela City.
"We started with the city of Manila because we think the people here will cooperate in this program," he added. (PNA) SCS/CLTC/Antonette B. Tagnipez/Mariane Clarize V. Noriega (OJTs)