EFFORTS to reduce pollution in the Estero de Tripa de Gallina in Paranaque City will be further boosted with the renewed commitment of water concessionaire Maynilad Water Services Inc. (MWSI) to help the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in said endeavor.
DENR Acting Secretary Jim O. Sampulna expressed his gratitude to the MWSI and the city government of Parañaque upon learning of their heightened coordination with the DENR through its Metropolitan Environmental Office in southern Metro Manila (MEO-South), which has jurisdiction over the cities of Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa and Taguig, and the municipality of Pateros.
“Their readiness to cooperate with our endeavors signals their willingness to be our partners in the rehabilitation of Manila Bay and improve the well-being of residents and the environment in general,” he stated.
DENR Assistant Secretary Gilbert Gonzales, on the other hand, said that personnel from the MEO-South, the MWSI, and the Parañaque City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) have searched for areas along the Estero de Tripa de Gallina where wastewater from the sewer or drainage systems could be intercepted and treated before flowing into the Parañaque River, a major river system that drains into Manila Bay.
The MWSI and CENRO are also considering the establishment of a communal septic tank in identified areas, including regularly desludging these and septic tanks in surrounding households to prevent overflows particularly during heavy rains.
Gonzales, who is also the supervising assistant secretary for MEOs, said that while these plans usually take time to implement, coordinative activities are being escalated to ensure that the necessary data, logistics, and acceptance from the community will be available at the soonest possible time.
Other mandamus agencies may also be tapped later to provide assistance to the project. Once fully implemented, the setup could be replicated in other areas of the National Capital Region as part of ongoing Manila Bay rehabilitation efforts.
Meanwhile, the DENR continues to enjoin the public to practice the principles of ecological solid waste management, and report establishments illegally dumping their waste, whether solid or liquid, in waterways.
Communities are also encouraged to keep waterways in their areas clean, since waterways filled with waste often hamper the flow of water, especially during the rainy season, causing floods.
They are also possible breeding grounds for pests such as rats and mosquitoes that could be carriers or spreaders of disease.
A portion of the Estero de Tripa de Gallina runs the adjacent city of Pasay, which falls under the jurisdiction of the MEO-West.
At present, estero rangers hired by the MEOs South and West conduct cleanups to help rid the waterway of garbage.