There are around 273 waterways (Estero) in the metro alone, according to Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA). It is not uncommon to see polluted waterways, but as to how polluted they are should be a cause for concern. Under the international standards, the acceptable most probable number (MPN) should be less than one up to less than 10 MPN.
The Conga Creek in Taguig spans around 300 meters with 28 B MPN/100ml reading of Coliform and 0 oxygen water analysis – meaning that the pollution is way beyond the acceptable limit that it used up all the oxygen. Under such condition, no fish would ever survive because they would have to compete with billions of bacteria.
The Department of Science and Technology-National Capital Region (DOST-NCR) recently embarked on a collaborative undertaking with the local government of Taguig City and other government agencies to help clean up the Conga Creek to achieve a cleaner, safer and healthier metropolitan environment.
“DOST-NCR aims not only to help in clean-ups of the creek but also help empower the communities through the Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology (CEST). The objective of the program is to help boost the areas on Economic Development, Health and Nutrition, Human Resource Development, Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation and Environmental Protection and Conservation,” says DOST-NCR Director Jose B. Patalinjug III.
Conga Creek is among the 48 creeks under the Adopt an Estero Program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and other agencies (private and government).
DOST-NCR and the other partners of DENR will support each other in the following areas: information and education campaigns, community mobilization and other activities that would foster harmonious relations; decongest the pilot site of garbage; introduce interventions which are aligned with the DENR approved measures, such as planting of bamboo and other plant species along the river banks and other activities.
The other agencies partners in the Conga Creek cleanup are the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Health (DOH) under the Adopt an Estero Program.
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is the premier science and technology body in the country charged with the twin mandate of providing central direction, leadership, and coordination of all scientific and technological activities, and of formulating policies, programs and projects to support national development.