Private-public team up to begin San Juan River clean-up operations

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EAST ZONE water concessionaire Manila Water Co., Inc., in collaboration with the Environment department and San Juan City, launched its program to rehabilitate San Juan River and its tributaries.

In a press release on Wednesday, Manila Water said that it unveiled its “Adopt-an-Estero” project to clean up the river, which began at the Maytunas and Ermitanyo creeks in Brgy. Addition Hills.

Manila Water said that it had unveiled a flow improvement strategy at Ermitanyo Creek to ensure that water along the creek will flow all year round, even during the dry season. The project was kicked off with the dropping of “Mabuhay balls,” or a mixture of microorganisms that would reduce bad odor and decrease coliform count, along Maytunas creek.

“We have activated a series of technical and non-technical interventions that will rehabilitate the tributary creeks of the San Juan River. We believe that a combination of social and engineering approaches will augur well for the restoration of the waterway,” Manila Water President and Chief Executive Officer Jose Rene D. Almendras said in a statement.

Some of these interventions include bacteria-based river water treatment, regular desludging activities, provision of cleaning tools for clean-up drives, and periodic water quality monitoring, among others.

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Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, who was present at the event, said that the Adopt-an-Estero program was “aligned with the government’s mission to clean up Manila Bay.”

He was quoted as saying that it was important to clean up all the rivers and tributaries that would eventually drain into Manila Bay.

San Juan City Mayor Francis M. Zamora said that he welcomed the initiative in cleaning the city’s river and esteros.

Last September, Manila Water, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and three local government units — including that of San Juan City — inked a memorandum of agreement to rehabilitate San Juan River.

Shares in Manila Water on Wednesday improved 0.67% to finish at P15 apiece. — Angelica Y. Yang

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