EcoWaste Coalition Urges Metro Residents and Transients Not to Dump Trash in Creeks

A pollution watchdog has appealed to Metro Manila’s residents and transients not to dispose of their discards into the streets, canals and creeks.

The EcoWaste Coalition repeated its never-ending plea against dumping following a recent report by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) that it collected 173 truckloads, or over 1,200 tons, of garbage and silt from eight creeks in just four days of dredging operations.

Beginning August 8, the MMDA launched an extensive cleanup drive of Metro Manila’s creeks under the agency’s “August Estero Blitz.”

“We are dismayed by the huge volume of trash dredged from some of Metro Manila’s vital waterways,” said Roy Alvarez, President, EcoWaste Coalition.

“It’s a sad indicator of how some of our kababayan treat Mother Earth with brazen disrespect. The garbage data, and not to forget the costs involved in clearing the clogged creeks, should serve as an environmental wake-up call to all litterbugs,” he pointed out.

“We invite all caring citizens to take to heart our appeal for environmental ethics and social responsibility and drop the offensive habit of throwing garbage in creeks and elsewhere,” he pleaded.

“Let us keep our esteros and the entire metropolis garbage-free,” he added.

Citing information from the MMDA, the EcoWaste Coalition said that 35 truckloads of waste were dredged from Estero Tripa de Gallina and Sta. Clara

spanning the cities of Makati, Manila, and Pasay.

Some 33 truckloads of waste were removed from Estero de Quiapo/San Miguel/San Sebastian, and another 29 truckloads from Estero de Pandacan/Concordia, all in Manila.

An additional 76 truckloads of waste were retrieved from Pinagsabugan and Longos creeks in Malabon City, bringing the total to 173 truckloads.

The recurrent floods in Metro Manila, as explained by the MMDA, is caused by the limited capacity of existing esteros, diversion channels and other waterways as a result of arbitrary dumping of trash.

“The perennial flood woes we face in Metro Manila will remarkably shrivel if R.A. 9003 is effectively adhered to,” said Alvarez.

R.A. 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, explicitly bans the “littering, throwing, dumping of waste matters in public places such as roads, sidewalks, canals, esteros or parks, and establishments.”

Violators upon conviction shall be punished with a fine of not less than P300 up to P1,000, or render community service for at least one day up to a maximum of 15 days in a local government unit where the act was committed.

MMDA environmental enforcers, as of August 15, 2011, have apprehended some 54,117 violators since it re-implemented its policy against littering on September 16, 2010, according to the agency’s website.