Dredging of Tullahan-Tinajeros river system starts

By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will begin to dredge on Monday, February 24, a portion of the Tullahan-Tinajeros River System from Malabon to Navotas to remove sediments that degrade the water quality of the waterway.

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu speaks at the “Tatak ng Pagbabago 2019: The Pre-SONA Forum” at the SMX Convention Center Davao on Wednesday, (RTVM / MANILA BULLETIN) Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu 

"It’s all systems go for the Tullahan-Tinajeros dredging project, which is an important part of the Manila Bay rehabilitation program," DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu said.

He explained that dredging will be done within the 5.25-kilometer (km) part of the river system, covering the stretch located in Barangay Catmon in Malabon City to Barangay Bagumbayan South in Navotas City.

The Tullahan-Tinajeros River System is 36.4 kilometers long, which starts from La Mesa Dam in Quezon City and drains into the Manila Bay at Centennial Park in Navotas City. It is one of the dirtiest waterways emptying into the Manila Bay.

DENR and San Miguel Corp. (SMC) signed last year a memorandum of agreement for the Adopt-an-Estero program, a priority initiative of the DENR and a key strategy to address the continuing mandamus of the Supreme Court to clean up Manila Bay.

According to Cimatu, dredging is necessary to remove the sediments that are affecting the water quality of the river.

"Dredging strips away the accumulated debris, which could help reduce the risk of flooding and improve its water quality," Cimatu pointed out.

SMC had earlier pledged P1 billion for the dredging and cleanup of the river system, including the purchase of backhoes, cranes with claw, dump trucks, barges and fuel.

The official launch of the dredging operations will take place on Monday (Feb. 24) at the Navotas Centennial Park, which will include the ceremonial handover of the dredging map between the DENR and SMC.

Aside from DENR and SMC representatives, officials from the local governments of Navotas and Malabon cities, the province of Bulacan, Department of Public Works and Highways, and Department of the Interior and Local Government, and Metropolitan Manila Development are Authority are expected to attend the event.