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SMC rids Tullahan of 83,600 MT of trash and silt, to intensify cleanup before rainy season

SAN Miguel Corporation (SMC) eyes to accelerate its dredging operations at the Tullahan-Tinajeros River System in the first two quarters of the year, before the rainy season sets in, to help reduce flooding at areas near the 27 kilometer-long tributary stretching from La Mesa Dam to the Manila Bay.

This, after SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon Ang reported that the company was able to extract 83,600 metric tons of silt and solid waste from the river in 2020, despite limitations brought on by the Luzon-wide lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The dredging complemented the flood mitigation measures implemented by the cities of Navotas and Malabon.

“We extract about 600 metric tons of waste daily from the Tullahan, and at this rate, we expect to extract 100,000 metric tons in a month’s time. The relatively dry months of January to May gives us an opportunity to intensify the cleaning, deepening, and widening of the river so that more areas can avoid flooding risks during the rainy season,” he said.

Launched together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in early 2020, the project is a P1 billion corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative of SMC to help address flooding in parts of Metro Manila and Bulacan. SMC resumed the P1 billion dredging project in June, following the lifting of strict quarantine restrictions.

“Although we resumed only last June, we were able to gradually expand our operations even during the rainy season. By conducting operations during rainy season, we were able to immediately see the benefits of the dredging and even determine the areas where more dredging needs to be done. We will cover more areas in the coming months,” Ang added.

SMC is currently dredging the initial 5.25-kilometer Tullahan river section from Barangay Tanong in Malabon City, to the mouth of the river leading to Manila Bay in Navotas City. In two years, SMC is looking to dredge a total of 1 million cubic meters from the Navotas-Malabon section alone.

SMC also plans to dredge, clean, widen, and deepen the Alipit or Taliptip River, Sta. Maria River, and the Meycauayan River as part of its flood mitigation strategy for the Manila International Airport that will also benefit the whole of Bulacan.

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