The Philippines’ Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is looking to take advantage of the El Niño by continuing its dredging and desilting operations in Manila Bay.
According to the PNA, DPWH-Bureau of Equipment (BOE) Director Toribio Ilao announced that though the effects of such weather condition for some are damaging, for them it is advantageous as the waves and underwater currents are manageable to continue the cleaning activities.
“It’s good for us because the waves and underwater current are not that strong. The excavator could go farther. The tidal effect is lower than if there’s no El Niño,” Toribio Ilao said.
Ilao reported that as of Monday, they have collected approximately 3,000 cubic meters of silt and garbage, including 44 rubber tires. Currently, they are operating with three trucks as maximum but they are looking at adding 20 to 30 trucks in the next two weeks.
As for the machines, Ilao said that they have four amphibious excavators and one land-based crawler excavator that are operating from Monday to Saturday.
DPWH Secretary Mark Villar visited the area located near the US Embassy in Manila to personally see the progress of the dredging and desilting operations.
Last week, the DPWH, together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the local government of Manila and other stakeholders, launched the Desilting Operations dubbed “DPWH Sagip Manila Bay” to clean the 1.5-kilometer stretch of the Bay from the Manila Yacht Club breakwater to the US Embassy.
The desilting activities will be divided into five sectors, each ranging from 200 to 300-meter long, until the entire 1.5-kilometer is finished. Each sector will be desilted approximately within 90 to 120 days.