The much anticipated dredging operations along Tullahan-Tinajeros River System is set to begin on February 24, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) announced.

“It’s all systems go for the Tullahan-Tinajeros dredging project, which is an important part of the Manila Bay rehabilitation program,” DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said.

The 36.4-km river system, which starts from La Mesa Dam in Quezon City and drains into the Manila Bay at Centennial Park in Navotas City, is one of the dirtiest waterways emptying into the historic bay which has been undergoing rehabilitation since January last year.

The dredging project is covered by the memorandum of agreement entered into by the DENR with food and beverage giant San Miguel Corp. (SMC) last year.

The agreement formalized SMC’s participation in the Adopt-an-Estero program, a priority initiative of the DENR and a key strategy to address the continuing mandamus of the Supreme Court to clean up Manila Bay.

Cimatu said that dredging will be done within the 5.25-km part of the river system, covering the stretch located in Barangay Catmon in Malabon City to Barangay Bagumbayan South in Navotas City.

According to the DENR chief, dredging is necessary to remove the sediments that are affecting the water quality of the river.

“Dredging strips away the accumulated debris, which could help reduce the risk of flooding and improve its water quality,” Cimatu pointed out.

SMC had earlier pledged P1 billion for the dredging and cleanup of the river system, including the purchase of backhoes, cranes with claw, dump trucks, barges and fuel.

The official launch of the dredging operations will take place in the morning of February 24 at the Navotas Centennial Park and this would include the ceremonial handover of the dredging map between the DENR and SMC.

Aside from DENR and SMC representatives, officials from the local governments of Navotas and Malabon cities, the province of Bulacan, Department of Public Works and Highways, and Department of the Interior and Local Government, and Metropolitan Manila Development are Authority are expected to attend the event. ###