AT least 10 esteros and creeks in Metro Manila cannot be cleaned by metropolitan authorities because squatter families have taken over them.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino said the agency’s heavy equipment for declogging can not reach the waterways because they are being blocked by the shanties of informal settlers.
“We cannot clean these creeks because the shanties are built within the waterways,” Tolentino said.
He said the MMDA can only work on the periphery of the esteros.
Tolentino identified the problem waterways as the Estero de Maypajo from Rizal Avenue to Estero de Sunog Apog with a length of 1.2 kilometers, Estero de Valencia from the railroad track to G.Tuazon (1.8 km), Estero de Quiapo from Soler to Hidalgo Street, Arlegui to the Quiapo pumping station (600 meters);
Estero de Sampaloc from Legarda to Lacson (200m), Estero de Alix from Legarda to Reten Street (700m), Estero de Pandacan from Junction (Tripa de Gallina) to Quirino Avenue (1.2 km), Estero Sta. Clara from Delpan to Sta. Clara pumping station (800m);
Estero de Magdalena from Soler Street to Bambang (1.9 km), Estero de San Lazaro from Antipolo to Estero dela Reina (2.3 km) and Estero dela Reina from Pritil to Escolta pumping
station (2.1 km).
Based on the MMDA statistics, 1,415 squatter families live along Estero de Maypajo, 258 along Estero de Valencia, 366 along Estero de Quiapo and 62 along Estero de Sampaloc.
RITCHIE A. HORARIO