San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is investing in massive dredging of garbage to contribute to Metro Manila’s flood mitigation efforts ahead of the construction of its P734-billion Manila International Airport, which is feared to worsen Bulacan’s flood woes.
In a statement, SMC said it is now targeting to dredge a total of 700,000 metric tons (MT) of garbage from the Tullahan River and Pasig River every year. Right now, clean-up operations in Tullahan continue to remove 600 MT of garbage daily.
This is part of the company’s P1-billion Tullahan-Tinajeros dredging and clean-up project and planned Pasig River clean up.
Aside from this, SMC is also looking to dredge major rivers and water tributaries in Bulacan that lead to Manila Bay.
This, according to the firm, will further help the government’s flood mitigation initiatives, even as the company prepares for the construction of the P734-billion Manila International Airport in Bulacan.
SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang said there’s a need to remove silt, trash and other obstructions from tributaries leading to Manila Bay as they restrict the free flow of water and cause heavy flooding.
An SMC hydrology study has identified the Marilao-Meycauayan-Obando River System (MMORS) as one of the major tributaries leading to Manila Bay that will need constant dredging.
Aside from MMORS, SMC also indicated the Malolos stream and the Tullahan River, the latter acting as a spillway for water coming from Angat and Ipo Dams.
“Cleaning the tributaries leading to Manila Bay would entail massive cost and we understand that the government has to prioritize more urgent basic needs during the pandemic. We are here to support the government in whatever way we can,” Ang said.
“Aside from the dredging and cleaning, the rivers in Bulacan will need to be widened and deepened in order to increase their capacity to carry excess rainwater or water coming from upstream and thus reduce flooding,” he added.
Ang said that on a daily basis, SMC extracts an average of 600 tons of silt and solid waste from the initial 5.25-kilometer part of the Tullahan from Bagumbayan South in Navotas City to Barangay Catmon in Malabon City.
The entire Tullahan-Tinajeros river system stretches 27 kilometers from the La Mesa Dam to Navotas City.
To fast-track operations, SMC acquired larger excavators, a fleet of barges, tugboats, cranes, and dump trucks and is looking to acquire more equipment as the project progresses.