DPWH starts massive desilting works in Manila Bay

An equipment fleet composed of amphibious excavators, dumping scows, dump trucks, debris segregator, street sweepers, and vacuum sewer jet cleaners are now deployed in Manila Bay and other strategic locations with the official launching of the Department of Public Works and Highways’ Desilting Operations dubbed “DPWH Sagip Manila Bay”.

DPWH photo

Led by DPWH Secretary Mark A. Villar, the event held Tuesday, March 5, 2019, was supported and attended by officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Interior and Local Government and Department of Tourism, as well as the local government unit and other mandamus agencies: Department of Education, Department of Health, Department of Agriculture Bureau of Soils and Water Management, Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Department of Budget and Management, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Philippine National Police – Maritime Group, Philippine Ports Authority, Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System and the Local Water Utilities Administration.

“This event marks the full-blast dredging within this critical section of Manila Bay. Our Bureau of Equipment, Regional and District Engineering Offices in Metro Manila have deployed a total of 28 equipment, and 50 personnel to operate 16 hours a day, 6 days a week,” said Secretary Villar. “Excavation will be the major mechanism for the removal of the accumulated pollutants in Manila Bay. Through our hardworking crew and equipment fleet, we aim to desilt within 150 meters from the shoreline of Manila Bay.”

Secretary Villar said an estimated 225,000 cubic meters of silt will be removed across the approximately 1.5-kilometer stretch of Manila Bay from Manila Yacht Club breakwater to US Embassy.

DPWH BOE Director Toribio Noel Ilao said implementation of desilting activities in Manila Bay will be divided into five (5) 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. To achieve targets and determine adjustments during the desilting operations, Secretary Villar said that the DPWH-BOE, in coordination with the DENR and PCG will regularly monitor Manila Bay using bathymetric or depth measurement survey, water quality test, and ocular inspection.

Aside from dredging activities in Manila Bay, the DPWH, through DPWH National Capital Region and its District Engineering Offices and in coordination with DENR, MMDA, and PCG, also conducts clean-up and declogging of tributaries and drainage canals in Manila City using the Department’s Vacuum Sewer Jet Cleaners.

“We are working harmoniously with the DENR, the MMDA, other mandamus agencies and local government units for a holistic approach in cleaning Manila Bay. These tributaries or esteros and drainage pipes need to be cleaned and unclogged, as trash from these areas will eventually make their way to Manila Bay,” said Secretary Villar. DPWH