Roxas boulevard a sea of trash

Bad weather has forced organizers of this year’s Manila Bay Cleanup campaign to defer the annual event for the safety of all volunteers who showed up at the venue, the catch basin beside the US Embassy along Roxas Boulevard here Saturday.

UNCOMPASSIONATE WEATHER. Personnel from Manila’s Department of Public Service collect garbage heaved by an enraged Manila Bay to the helpless Roxas Boulevard. Norman Cruz
The announcement to defer coincided with the sight of heaps of garbage strewn on Roxas Boulevard with the unacceptable weather creating giant waves lapping against the Manila seawall.

YouScooper Norly Capanzana showed a clip to GMA News, saying it seemed Manila Bay returned all the trash dumped by people into it or those washed down by the water arteries that emptied into the Bay.

“Primarily, the reason to postpone our cleanup activity is for the safety of our volunteers from the present weather condition, as witnessed even by our participants from the Metro Manila Development Authority and the City of Manila. There might be a surge since the waves have begun to seep through the wall,” Catherine Villanueva, Land Bank of the Philippines first vice president for Corporate Affairs, told the Philippine News Agency.

“We could not even set up because people might get electrocuted. We took into consideration the safety of our volunteers, [our] primary and utmost reason to reschedule the cleanup activity,” Villanueva added.

The event is part of the 55th-anniversary celebration of the government-owned bank.

Although the clean-up and the EM Mabuhay ball-making activities have been deferred, Villanueva noted that the other two events, the PET bottle rescue boat-making, and eco-brick chairs-making, pushed through.

The president of the Manila Bay Sunset Partnership Program Inc. noted that they would use the eco-bricks to make chairs that they would turn over to the Manila government.

The Ecobrick Program is a low-cost, low-technology and sustainable solution to minimize the use of single-use plastic wastes that pollute the ocean. 

“Every 500 ml. bottle will contain 250 grams of plastic waste, although (it is a) very tedious process as we cut the plastic and put it inside the bottles. It has to weigh a minimum of 250 grams to make it into a solid and compact ecobrick. So we already placed a total of around 800 kg. of waste inside the plastic bottles,” she said.

“We will process them into ecobrick chairs. We will turn them over to the Manila Social Welfare Department. They actually established a drop-in center for children of blue-collared workers of Manila. We will also find additional beneficiaries,” Villanueva said.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said Saturday that monsoon rains would prevail over Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon, as the southwest monsoon affecting the archipelago was being enhanced by Tropical Storm ''Karding.'' 

Topics: bad weather , Manila Bay Cleanup campaign , Roxas Boulevard , Manila Bay Sunset Partnership Program Inc.
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