San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has reached a new milestone in its river cleanup campaign, having removed a total of 6 million metric tons of silt and solid waste from various river systems in and around Metro Manila.

This total includes more than 3 million tons recently extracted from more than 50 km of rivers in flood-prone Bulacan province as part of a major expansion of the cluster cleanup initiative. These rivers flow through the cities and towns of Meycauayan, Obando, Bulakan, Bocaue, Marilao, Balagtas and Guiguinto in Bulacan.

This is by far the largest and most extensive river cleanup initiative undertaken by the SMR as part of a long-term global effort that began in 2020 to clean up heavily polluted river systems such as the Pasig River, Tullahan River and the San Juan River.

From 2020 to date, it has successfully removed nearly 1.2 million metric tons of waste from 26 kilometers of the Pasig River; 1.1 million tons from 11 kilometers of the Tullahan River, and almost 320,000 tons from the San Juan River.

In October last year, the SMC announced that it was expanding its river cleanup initiative in Bulacan and other provinces and cities, such as Pampanga, Navotas, Laguna and Cavite, in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and local administrations.

TSMC evacuates its factory after the Taiwan earthquake and an interruption in chip supply is expected

Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and local administrations.

Their efforts to clean the San Isidro River, in San Pedro (Laguna), have dumped 343,836 tons of sediment and waste to date.

The SMC is also preparing to clean up 26 km of the Pampanga River, which also flows into Bulacan and has been identified as a major cause of flooding in both provinces and other nearby areas.

«After four years of continuous efforts, we are more determined and committed than ever to move forward with this campaign, which has had a positive impact on the population, local economies and the environment. “We are very grateful for the support of the DENR, DPWH and our partner local administrations, without whom we would not have achieved so much in such a short time,” Ang stated.

“We are also very proud of the hard work and dedication of our river cleanup teams. Their commitment to our defense and communities has resulted in the removal of more than 6 million tons of waste and sediment to date and has covered nearly 100 km of riverbed of the Pasig, Tullahan, San Juan, Bulacan rivers and San Pedro, and there is still more to come,” added Ang.

In Bulacan, where SMC has made major investments such as the MRT-7 project, the Bulacan bulk water supply project and the new Manila International Airport project, SMC is committed to helping solve the long-standing flooding problem from the province.

SMC announced that it was expanding its river cleanup initiative in Bulacan and to other provinces and cities, such as Pampanga, Navotas, Laguna and Cavite

Historically, Bulacan has always been prone to flooding, due to several factors.

These include its location at low altitude, the subsidence of the land due to the extraction and depletion of groundwater, the highly clogged and polluted rivers, and the proliferation in past decades of commercial fish ponds along its coastal areas, that prevented the natural flow of flood waters into Manila Bay.

“True to our commitment to the province of Bulacan, our river cleanup efforts are in full swing. The work already extends across nine main river areas. Some of these rivers have become very shallow, to the point that their depth was initially measured between 0.5 and one or two meters. Our goal is to make them deeper, 3 to 5 meters, to be able to more effectively evacuate floodwaters and, in some key areas, even improve biodiversity and ecosystems,” said Ang.

The Bulacan rivers that have already been cleared of sediments and debris are: the Taliptip-Maycapiz-Bambang, with a length of 10 km; the Meycauayan, from Manila Bay to the NLEX, 12 km; the Mailad to the Bocaue/Rio Santa Maria, 8.5 km; the Guiguinto to the NLEX, 9.6 km; the Marilao, also upstream of the NLEX, 4.8 km; and the Balagtas, 2.5 km.

Clearing is underway on the Pamarawan River in Malolos, which is also the site of the SMC’s 40-hectare biodiversity zone for migratory shorebirds, where the initiative has so far covered 1.8 kms of the total 8.9 kms.


Leave a Reply