Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark A. Villar said dredging activities will soon begin in Manila Bay with the completion of data gathering activities of the DPWH-Bureau of Equipment.
“Our Bureau of Equipment has conducted bathymetric or depth measurement survey, water quality test, and ocular inspection at Manila Bay and Navotas River. The result of these surveys will be the basis of dredging activities in the coming weeks,” said Secretary Villar.
Citing a report from DPWH-BOM Director Toribio Noel Ilao, Secretary Villar said that dredging will be the major mechanism for the removal of the accumulated pollutants in Manila Bay and the bathymetric survey is necessary to estimate the amount of material to be removed and specify the areas that must be given focus during the clean-up.
Undersecretary Emil Sadain of DPWH Technical Services directed Director Ilao to prepare the strategic deployment plan for equipment fleet composed of amphibious excavators, dumping scows, dump trucks, debris segregator, street sweepers, and vacuum sewer cleaner that will be strategically deployed starting by the last week of February to the first week of March.
DPWH will also procure this year additional spider excavators and trash skimmer to assist in the rehabilitation efforts
DPWH has identified three (3) dredging sites which include the Navotas River and Estero de Vitas in Tondo, Manila; and the priority 100 meters from the shoreline of Manila Bay spanning its approximately 1.5-kilometer portion from Manila Yacht Club breakwater to US Embassy.
Villar said water quality in Manila Bay will be regularly monitored throughout the project to determine adjustments in achieving the targets of its massive rehabilitation.
Data gathering activities performed by the DPWH-BOE are being conducted in coordination with DPWH North and South Manila District Engineering Offices and the Philippine Coast Guard which provides the motorized boat used to survey Manila Bay.