Manila Water, DENR, LGUs seal partnership for Adopt-An-Estero program

Published October 1, 2020, 8:00 AM

by Manila Bulletin

East Zone concessionaire Manila Water led the Adopt-an-Estero Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) Ceremonial Signing together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and several local government units (LGUs) which included Quezon City, San Juan City, and Mandaluyong City to fully implement the cleanup and rehabilitation of San Juan River and its tributaries. The program further underscores the commitment of each partner-agency to address pressing issues about the environment.

The event also marked the signing of the updated usufruct agreement between the DENR and Manila Water for the upgrading of the East Avenue Sewage Treatment Plant in Quezon City. The upgrade covers the retrofitting of the facility in compliance with the DENR AO 2016-08 which set the standards for biological nutrient removal in treated effluent, as well as the expansion of its sewerage network.

Photo shows Manila Water President and CEO Jose Rene Almendras (front row, center); Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte (back row, 2nd from right); San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora (back row, right); MWSS Administrator Emmanuel Salamat (front row, right); MWSS-RO Chief Regulator Patrick Ty (front row, left); Mandaluyong City Administrator Ernesto Victorino (back row, left), representing Mayor MenchieAbalos; and Manila Water Chief Operating Officer Abelardo Basilio (back row, 2nd from left) at the ceremonial signing held at MWSS Multipurpose Hall in Quezon City. Signing the agreement remotely was DENR Assistant Secretary Ricardo Calderon (inset), representing Sec. Roy Cimatu.

Back in January 2020, DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu shared that one of the department’s goal is to clean the San Juan River to which Manila Water immediately responded by pledging its support through Adopt-an-Estero program. The concessionaire initiated due diligence of San Juan River and its tributaries to help formulate technical and social solutions by “adopting” the creeks traversing Quezon City, San Juan City, and Mandaluyong City.

For their part, the LGUs pledged to support desludging services or siphoning of septic vaults in the households; provide cleaning materials during the clean-up drives; participate in information, education and communication campaigns and other river clean-up programs which are some of their initiatives under the Adopt-an-Estero program.

DENR Assistant Secretary Ricardo Calderon, representing Sec. Roy Cimatu, expressed his gratitude to Manila Water and the other partners for their unwavering support through the implementation of various programs and initiatives geared toward the protection of the environment. On the other hand, City Mayors Joy Belmonte and Francis Zamora also echoed their full support and both lauded Manila Water’s consistent efforts with strong commitment on further expanding water and wastewater services.

QC Mayor Joy Belmonte
SJ Mayor Francis Zamora

Meanwhile, Manila Water President and CEO Jose Rene Almendras explained that in support to the government’s mandate and infrastructure programs, Manila Water will be building more sewage treatment facilities and expand sewer network as part of its overall wastewater roadmap for the East Zone. He also added that this is also to manifest Manila Water’s steadfast commitment to contribute to the rehabilitation of Manila Bay and other waterways.

Almendras also added that this is the very first event organized by Manila Water with a combination of virtual and physical signatories and attendees. The Adopt-an-Estero program aims to clean up the dirtiest creeks in Metro Manila including Maytunas and Ermitanyo Creek, as well as Buhangin and Buayang Bato Creek. 

Also present at the ceremonial signing included DENR Assistant Secretary Ricardo Calderon, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte, San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora, MWSS Administrator Emmanuel Salamat, MWSS-RO Chief Regulator Patrick Ty, Mandaluyong City Administrator Ernesto Victorino (representing Mayor Menchie Abalos), and Manila Water Chief Operating Officer Abelardo Basilio.

Manila Water is the private concessionaire of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System of the East Zone that serves more than seven million residents in the eastern portion of Metro Manila and the province of Rizal.