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MMDA hauls water hyacinths from Pasig River

Marc Jayson Cayabyab - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) hauled this week 770 cubic meters of water hyacinths as the Pasig River ferry service remains suspended due to the invasive plant species.

According to the MMDA public information office, 7,235 cubic meters of water hyacinths were collected from the Pasig River from July to September.

MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago yesterday said the agency resorted to using its one trash skimmer, backhoes and trash boats to collect the hyacinths, which choked the Napindan dockyard.

Pialago said the delivery of the MMDA’s second trash skimmer was delayed due to the pandemic.

She said the agency collects an average of 150 cubic meters of water lilies daily using a trash skimmer.

The MMDA has proposed in its 2021 budget the procurement of another trash skimmer with a capability to grind the plants, Pialago said.

Pasig River ferry service administrator Irene Navera expressed hope the river would be cleared of hyacinths by next week to be able to resume operations.

A trash trap was also installed at the mouth of Laguna de Bay near the Pinagbuhatan ferry station to contain the entry of water hyacinths, Navera said.

In 2017, the ferry service was suspended for six months due to the water hyacinths.

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