San Miguel Corporation (SMC), the largest conglomerate in the Philippines, announced on Friday that it will expand its river cleanup and rehabilitation advocacy to include three major river systems and other tributaries and waterways throughout Metro Manila, Pampanga, Cavite, and Bulacan.
The company said that it will take on the challenge of restoring the health and beauty of the Pasig-Marikina River System, the Parañaque River System, and the Meycauayan-Marilao-Obando River System (MMORS), as well as their smaller tributaries that drain into Manila Bay.
SMC President Ramon S. Ang said that the company is doing this at no cost to the government or the people, as part of its corporate social responsibility and environmental stewardship.
“After our success with the Pasig, Tullahan, and San Juan rivers, we are taking on an even bigger challenge. With the support of the DENR, DPWH, and different LGUs, we are expanding our river cleanup and rehabilitation advocacy to include three major river systems and other tributaries and waterways throughout Metro Manila, Pampanga, Cavite, and Bulacan,” Ang said in a statement.
“We’re doing all of this at no cost to the government, or our people. We believe that healthier rivers mean thriving communities, and thriving communities uplift the nation and drive us at San Miguel to do even more,” he added.
Ang said that the company has already deployed its state-of-the-art dredging equipment and personnel to start the cleanup of the Pasig-Marikina River System, which covers 27 kilometers of waterways from Napindan Channel in Taguig City to Laguna de Bay.
He said that the company aims to dredge 50,000 metric tons of silt and garbage from the river system per month, or a total of 600,000 metric tons per year.
Ang also said that the company will soon start the cleanup of the Parañaque River System, which covers 11 kilometers of waterways from Barangay La Huerta in Parañaque City to Manila Bay.
He said that the company will also work on the MMORS, which covers 36 kilometers of waterways from Meycauayan City in Bulacan to Manila Bay. The MMORS is considered one of the most polluted river systems in the country, as it receives domestic and industrial wastes from various sources.
Ang said that the company will use its own funds and resources to finance the river cleanup projects, which are expected to cost billions of pesos.
He said that the company is also committed to planting mangroves along the riverbanks, creating linear parks and bike lanes, providing livelihood opportunities for local communities, and supporting other environmental initiatives.
Ang said that the company hopes to inspire other private sector partners to join its river cleanup and rehabilitation advocacy, as well as encourage the public to be more responsible and mindful of their waste disposal habits.
“We are doing this not only for ourselves, but for future generations. We want them to enjoy clean and healthy rivers that can support biodiversity, recreation, tourism, and economic development. We want them to see that we care for our environment and our country,” Ang said.