San Miguel Corporation is extending the total reach of its P1-billion Tullahan-Tinajeros river system cleanup to 11.5 kms, close to halfway of the entire 27-km stretch, to complement ongoing flood mitigation measures in the cities of Navotas, Malabon, and Valenzuela before the start of the rainy season.
SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said the Department of Public Works and Highways has approved the company’s dredging plans for Sectors 4 and 5 of the river system, covering the length of the river from Tinajeros Bridge to Potrero in Malabon and Valenzuela cities.
The section represents an additional 6.3 kms of dredging area, in addition to the initial 5.25-km Sectors 1 to 3 from the Manila Bay in Navotas, to the Tinajeros Bridge in Malabon, which SMC had been working on.
“We are making all the necessary preparations now to move into the next phase of our river cleanup and flood management initiative. We’re investing in new equipment, and hiring more people. We are fully committed to our advocacy of cleaning up major rivers and helping our cities with flood mitigation,” Ang said.
“We thank the DPWH for approving our plans for this new stretch, which will benefit Valenzuela and upstream portion of Malabon. As soon as we acquire the special equipment, we will start work on these sections by early April, while simultaneously maintaining our dredging operations from Manila Bay in Navotas to Tinajeros Bridge, or sectors one to three,” he added.
Ang said aside from cleaning and increasing the depth of the river to accommodate more rainwater, especially during the typhoon season, the DPWH has required the widening of portions of the river.
SMC will be working closely with the local government units and MMDA Flood Control group to implement the project.
“Many parts of the river have become shallow, with the depth down to one to two meters. We were able to increase the depth of the river and this complemented the pumping stations at Navotas and Malabon. When heavy typhoons hit the country towards end of last year, more floodwaters flowed into the river, but no heavy flooding was reported in these flood-prone areas,” he said.
For the five sectors, SMC is looking to dredge a total of 1.5 million cubic meters of silty sand and solid waste.