MANILA – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) kicked off its back to school and rainy season preparations on Tuesday by cleaning up La Concordia Creek in Paco, Manila.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino led the operations in one of the dirtiest waterways in Metro Manila. With him were some 300 members of the MMDA and several pieces of heavy equipment.
Tolentino says they perform the clean up annually before the rainy season in an effort to reduce flooding the megacity.
Over the next 3 weeks, the MMDA will focus on strategic waterways in Metro Manila, which reportedly has 273 creeks and tributaries.
Tolentino says there has been a reduction of solid waste in canals and sewers since the ban on plastic bags was implemented in several cities. He admitted, however, that flooding still persists.
"Maraming factors din kasi ‘yan. ‘Yung sewers kailangan din i-upgrade, pati na rin ‘yung pumping stations natin. At nandiyan pa rin ang kawalang disiplina ng ibang kababayan natin," says Tolentino.
The chairman also visited the informal settlers living along the creek to convince them of relocating for the sake public order and safety.
Many residents say they are willing to leave as long as there is a clear source of livelihood where they are going. Some have been living in the area for over 30 years.