The Department of Natural Resources announced on Saturday, June 12, that it has joined forces with conglomerate San Miguel Corporation (SMC) to conduct a major clean-up drive in Pasig River — a timely venture that seeks to rehabilitate one of the largest river systems connected to Manila Bay.
DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu and SMC President Ramon Ang signed the memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the Pasig River Dredging Project last June 9 at the Petron Sales Training Office in Manila to signify the start of the joint endeavor in the dredging and clean-up of Pasig River.
“This project does not only directly complement our on-going rehabilitation of Manila Bay, but one can just imagine the positive impacts the cleanup and rehabilitation of Pasig River could bring to the majority of our population and to the eco-systems that connect to it,” Cimatu said.
The dredging project, which is part of SMC’s commitment to the “Adopt-a-River” Program, aims to improve Pasig River’s water flow and mitigate flooding by deepening and widening the shallow and narrow portions of the waterbody.
The ongoing Tullahan-Tinajeros River Rehabilitation Project is SMC’s first Adopt-a-River partnership with the DENR.
“Indeed, this is another significant step towards our ultimate goal of restoring and enhancing the environmental integrity of Pasig River, one of the most iconic and important waterways in the country,” Cimatu said.
Under the agreement, the DENR will provide the technical expertise for the project while the SMC will take care of the manpower support and dredging equipment to complete the project.
The DENR will also help in the evaluation of soil test results that will be conducted by the SMC to identify the location and find the best usage for the dredged materials.
Moreover, the DENR will assist in the application for an environmental compliance certificate or ECC for the relocation site of dredged materials.
The implementation of the dredging project will also involve the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
SMC President Ramon Ang identified the narrow and shallow portions of the river along the Pandacan-Paco area, Estrella in Makati City, and near C5 Road, Manila Bay, and EDSA, as priority dredging sites.
Ang said the SMC has invested in a cutter suction dredger — which can dredge 1,000 tons per hour; 10,000 tons per 10 hours a day; or three million tons a year — and hopper barge for high volume dredging and transfer of dredged materials to a designated site.
He added the SMC was looking into conducting percussion drilling for areas that are difficult to dredge due to the use of heavy materials.
“On behalf of the DENR, I would like to extend our sincerest thanks to SMC for its unwavering and continuing commitment to various environmental causes,” Cimatu said.