After garbage, MMDA now hauling logs

By Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2012 03:32 PM | Updated as of Aug 04 2012 01:40 AM

MANILA - Unlike in the past four days, where garbage were mostly characterized by plastic materials, on Friday, the clean-up team from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has been hauling piles of huge logs, bamboo trees, and chunks of tree branches along Manila Bay in Roxas Blvd.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said they're surprised by the presence of these logs, and they fear these pose a threat to the newly built seawall along Baywalk.

"The more na tinatamaan ng mga troso yung sea wall, lalong baka pwedeng ma-damage yan," Tolentino said.

Francis Martinez, head of the Metroparkway Clearing Group, said there are more of these logs buried underneath. "Pag nag-low tide, puro kawayan po yan, may nakikita pa kaming mga gulong sa ilalim pa," he said.

The MMDA believes that the logs came from Cavite and some from Bataan.
As of noontime Friday, ten more trucks have hauled at least 6 tons of garbage for each truck.

Since Monday, the MMDA has utilized 165 dump trucks to haul the garbage from Manila Bay to a dumpsite in Navotas and a landfill in San Mateo, Rizal.

With 40 more trucks expected to be used today, the volume of garbage is expected to reach to about 1,200 tons, hauled within the past 5 days since the entry of Typhoon "Gener" over the weekend.

The MMDA has also started to haul the huge volume of floating garbage that have been encroaching the compound along the coastal waters of the Manila Yacht Club.  
The close to 100 members of the clean-up team admitted feeling the stress and exhaustion from hauling tons of garbage since early Monday.

This morning, most of them were given a cup of porridge to help them cope with the cold weather being experienced along baywalk.

The clean-up personnel have constantly been exposed constantly to wind, rain, and strong waves still being felt most of the time at Roxas Blvd.

Interviewed after receiving his hot porridge Friday, a worker said, "malaking pasasalamat, kahit papano maibsan lamig at ginaw."

The others lamented the lack of discipline of people who use the sea as their trash area.

An MMDA worker said, "Magkaroon po sana ng displina ang tao sa pagtatapon para yung basurang itinapon nila, hindi babalik sa atin".

Another MMDA worker said, "displina kailangan natin sa pilipinas, yan po nakakasira sa kalikasan."
Tolentino said extending the breakwater of the Manila Yacht Club is the best solution to prevent strong storm surges hitting Roxas Blvd. in the future.

"Kailangan may first line of defense, accepted naman yan kahit saan," he said. "Kailangan, dun pa lang 500 meters from where we stand, tumigil na siya (strong waves)."

Tolentino's proposal includes not only extending the breakwater, but expanding it as well to become a tourist destination during good and calmer weather.

He proposed to construct a promenade 300-400 meters away from baywalk as a walking and viewing area for both local and international tourists.

"We develop a flood infrastructure system and tourist spot, sabay na po yun," he said.

Tolentino added he submitted this proposal a year ago to the Department of Public Works and Highways, and he hopes this will be given enough funding and attention by the concerned department.