Save Manila Bay
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) regional office has started the demolition of illegal structures along the riverbanks and waterways connected to the Manila Bay.
Engineer Eric Dunglao of the DPWH’s First Engineering District Office said the move is in compliance with the Supreme Court’s order to concerned government agencies and local government units (LGUs) to undertake joint efforts in cleaning up the waters of Manila Bay.
This is part of the plan to clean-up, rehabilitate and preserve the Manila Bay. Thus, all connected rivers and waterways that eventually exit to the bay should be cleared from any obstructions, Dunglao.
A total of 746 illegal structures along the riverbanks and waterways will be demolished by the DPWH in the provinces of Pampanga and Bulacan within the next two months.
Out of this figure, 80 illegal structures will be dismantled in Macabebe and 654 in Masantol in Pampanga while 12 others in Hagonoy, Bulacan.
“We already served three notices to the informal settlers and this is the last and final one, that’s why we are starting the implementation of the plan,” he said.
The DPWH official also said that the move is part of the solutions to address flooding and other water-related disasters.
After the demolition, he said the DPWH will undertake massive desilting of the river channels in the province all the way to the mouth of the Manila Bay to minimize the massive flooding.
Macabebe and Masantol were two of the heavily affected towns in Pampanga when two strong typhoons struck Central Luzon last year.
“Desilting is one of the solutions that we can see to prevent perennial flooding and lessen the damages brought by the rampant flooding in the province’s fourth district, the DPWH official said.
Several rivers, including those in Aurora and Nueva Ecija provinces, dump their water at the Pampanga River before it comes out of the Manila Bay.
The high volume of water which is supposed to come out at the Pampanga Bay flows back to towns as the bay is heavily silted, he added.