SMC removes 330,000 MT of garbage from Tullahan River

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. has removed more than 330,000 metric tons (MT) of garbage from the Tullahan River over a year since SMC started the cleanup.

In a statement yesterday, SMC said it had extracted 332,192 MT of silt and solid waste from the river as of July 22.

“The waste extracted were moved to government-approved disposal centers,” SMC said.

The company said the cleanup of the Tullahan River benefited the public in the past days as floods that affected Valenzuela, Malabon and Navotas subsided quickly compared to before.

“With heavy rains brought by Typhoon Fabian and the southwest monsoon in the past few days, we monitored the flooding situation at critical sections of the Tullahan River. Despite the rains, the river did not overflow and the flashfloods in nearby areas subsided in a few hours,” SMC president Ramon Ang said.

Ang said the construction of the river wall, pumping stations and dredging operations helped lessen floods in northern Metro Manila.

Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian thanked SMC for the dredging efforts that significantly reduced floods in the city.

“The floodwaters subsided quickly. Yesterday, it was gone after five hours. Before, it took the whole day,” Gatchalian said.

SMC has accelerated the dredging of Tullahan River and is working on the cleanup of the 27-kilometer river system, a main tributary to Manila Bay.

The company has been undertaking the P1-billion Tullahan-Tinajeros River System cleanup project.

The Tullahan River was identified as one of the top Philippine rivers polluting the oceans with plastic waste, according to a study published by OurWorldinData.org.

Apart from the Tullahan River, SMC is also working with the Departments of Environment and Natural Resources and Public Works and Highways to finalize the permits and dredging plans needed to commence the five-year program to dredge the 27-kilometer Pasig River.

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