Roxas Blvd clean-up may take until Saturday

by Caroline J. Howard, ANC

Posted at Aug 03 2012 10:09 PM | Updated as of Aug 04 2012 06:09 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said it may take until Saturday to clean up the garbage mess along Roxas Boulevard.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said they have collected some 40 truckloads of garbage swept in by the storm surges from Manila Bay due to enhanced effects of tropical cyclone “Gener.”

Garbage incineration

Given the volume of plastics collected from the storm surge, Tolentino said it may be time government review the possibility of using garbage incineration.

"There are incineration standards that are at par with Europe's best, smokeless, and don't contribute to the perception its contributory to pollution. One Philippine Supreme Court decision pinapayagan ito, it’s a matter of expanding that interpretation and convincing our environmental friends this should be done," Tolentino said on ANC's “Headstart.”

Tolentino noted that he has also reiterated the call of eight Metro Manila mayors to encourage the reuse of plastic bags.

Double-layered seawall

Meantime, Tolentino reiterated his proposal to construct a double-layered seawall at Manila Bay.

He intends to submit the plan to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The plan includes the construction of a breakwater 500 meters from Roxas Boulevard, which will serve as a first line of defense against huge waves.

"Five hundred meters away din ‘yung garbage. Hindi na pupunta ‘yung floods sa Roxas Boulevard. You save Roxas Boulevard, MH del Pilar, Taft Avenue and all the historic heritage areas within the vicinity."

"My proposal concurred by Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim is to have the connector of the seawall as a promenade for cafes and souvenir shops."

Tolentino said the double-layered seawall is patterned after a similar project in Morocco.

The proposal was thumbed down last year due to lack of funds, but Tolentino says the construction can be privately funded.

He adds that the project can be turned into a tourist spot, which will help generate funds for the city.

Tolentino says the closure of Roxas Boulevard due to flooding translates to cost recovery and losses for nearby hotels and establishments, including lower tourist arrivals.