MANILA, Philippines – Sandbags now separate Manila Bay from the sidewalks and park benches along Roxas Boulevard in Manila, after storm surges from typhoon Pedring (Nesat) destroyed the seawall last Monday and Tuesday.
The typhoon destroyed stretches of the seawall from the Rajah Sulayman Park area to the Manila Yatch Club and other structures along the famed tourist spot, dislodging the pavement tiles, concrete benches, and other park elements such as streetlights and statues.
A street sweeper of the Manila Department of Public Services (DPS) said that after the typhoon, they were also greeted by trash swept inland by the waves as far as the northbound lane of the boulevard.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), which supervises roadways designated as National Roads, is spearheading the repair of the damaged waterfront.
On Monday, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) was scheduled to submit a proposal for a double-layered seawall design to the DPWH, which will have another seawall 10 meters offshore, connected to the mainland by bridges.
The offshore seawall, the MMDA said, will be designed to withstand strong waves brought by storms.
The proposed seawall “will enhance public safety and address environmental concerns,” MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said in a statement released Monday, adding the new structure will be “the first layer of defense from strong waves” during calamities.
“Built in accordance with the latest technology, it will be an improved structure that shall be stronger to withstand the buffeting waves,” he was quoted as saying.
The offshore seawall will be connected to land by Spanish-style bridges, and the area will have plants, mangroves, and benches for people to enjoy, and the outer wall will be open from 10 am until 5 pm, the MMDA said.
Tolentino also said the promenade, similar to ones in Galveston, Texas and Vancouver, British Columbia, will enhance the area and will be a a major tourist destination.
“I hope this design would merit the favorable endorsement of concerned government agencies, and of the public as well,” he added.
Despite the damage on the waterfront, people are still flocking to the area, mainly to enjoy the famed Manila Bay sunset. – Rappler.com