Garbage preventing floods from receding - Atienza
Tons of non-biodegradable garbage and water lilies are keeping floodwaters contained in various areas in Metro Manila, Environment Secretary Lito Atienza said Thursday, as he stressed the need to strictly implement the waste management law.
"This [effects of tropical storm Ondoy] should be a wake up call. We must change our ways. Dispose of your garbage properly," Atienza said in an interview with ABS-CBN's Umagang Kay Ganda.
He said drainage systems in Manila are clogged with non-biodegradable garbage. He added that water lilies from Laguna de Bay and Pasig River are also preventing floodwaters from receding.
"There are obstructions in the natural drainage. Water from Laguna de Bay is not flowing because of water lilies and fish pens. Technically, it should flow to Pasig River and then to Manila Bay and to the South China Sea," Atienza explained, adding that if garbage were only properly disposed, floodwaters could have receded as soon as rains stopped pouring last Saturday.
He said President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), is urging all local governments to strictly enforce Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.
He added that he has ordered the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) to prevent the reconstruction of fish cages in the Laguna de Bay that were destroyed during the storm's onslaught.
Officials said 90 percent of Pateros and 53 percent of Taguig remain in chest-deep floodwaters. Several areas near Pasig River, including Rizal and Pasig City, and areas in Laguna province were still flooded, as of posting.
The government's relief operations have also been hampered by stagnant floodwaters, particularly in Pasig City and Rizal towns.
Basurang Itinapon Mo, Babalik Din Sa 'Yo - posted on 8/08/2009