Rising water levels imperil families living along Estero

Published June 9, 2018, 3:20 PM

by iManila Developer

By Hans Amancio

As the rainy season officially begins in the country, hundreds of informal settler families occupying one of Manila’s most polluted waterways endure the constantly rising garbage-filled waters.


The impoverished families, around 700 of them, living along the Estero de Magdalena in Tondo, Manila may be accustomed to the overflowing trash and the stench of the water but living in such conditions under the severe rainy season is another story.

“Umaapaw kasi yang tubig tapos pumapasok minsan sa bahay namin. Hindi naman masyadong mataas pero pag bumagyo pa lalo, puno talaga (The water overflows up inside our houses. The water may not be that high right now but if it pours harder, our houses get filled),” resident Ana Colanzo said.

On June 8, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration declared the start of the rainy season. It added that the rainy season will be mostly felt in the western part of the country, including Metro Manila.

With the water slowly rising, families continuously attempt to keep their belongings away from the filthy water and their children away from playing in rainwater puddles.

“Yang dumi naman kasi, nadadala din namin sa loob ng bahay pag nagkalakad kami. Pero pag may tubig na kasing kasama, iba na yon kasi pwedeng mabulok yung mga gamit namin lalo madumi pa yung tubig (We usually bring the dirt inside our homes as we walk along it. But it’s different if water is involved because our belongings could rot especially because the water is polluted),” Ericson de Guzman, who has been living in the area for two years, said.

Meanwhile, the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) which has spearheaded many clean-up operations on Estero de Magdalena, said that the families will be relocated within the year in an effort to save the waterway from more solid wastes.

“The PRRC shall be relocating 700 families from Estero de Magdalena to government housing units in Trece Martires, Cavite,” the agency said.