MANILA, Philippines - An environmental program to dredge up the Pasig River is nearing completion before the end of the year.
Engineer Francisco Vargas of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission said the dredging project removes sediments and garbage at the river basin and increases the river's current depth from 4 to 6 meters.
He said the Pasig River is now ready for floods during the rainy season.
Vargas said the PRRC used underwater placement with overdepth capping (UPOC) to dispose of contaminated materials dredged from the river. He said the technology came from Baggerwerken Decloedt en Zoon N.V. (BDC), a leading Belgian dredging company.
The UPOC technology involves constructing a pit located in an isolated place underneath the seabed. Inside the pit are 10 cell blocks where dredged sediments from the river will be dumped. A few meters before the UPOC is filled up with the dredged sediments, it will be covered with materials dug up from the site.
The UPOC technology is currently employed by the company in various dredging projects in other countries like Belgium, Germany, Hong Kong, China, Argentina and Papua New Guinea.
Vargas said the dredging project has helped improve the water quality in Pasig River. He warned, however, that the project "will be useless if people keep on throwing garbage in the river."