The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has just added four more private companies and organizations to its growing list of partners in its river cleanup program.

Added to the DENR’s roster of partners in its “Adopt-an-Estero” program were DMCI Property Developers, Inc. (DMCI) and the Rotary Club of Diliman Silangan for the Pasong Tamo River in Quezon City; Commonwealth Foods Inc. (Comfoods) for the Narra Creek in Makati City; and the Las Piñas City Medical Center (LPCMC) for the Pasong Cobra Creek in Las Piñas City, who all signed their respective Memoranda of Agreement (MOAs) recently with the DENR.

DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje welcomed the initiatives of the partners, which would help sustain government efforts in maintaining clean waterways in Metro Manila. “Our waterways and water bodies are in dire need of interventions to revive them, and the DENR is grateful to its partners in the Adopt-an-Estero program for committing to help us clean up our creeks and rivers and restore their health,” he said.

Under the MOA, the DMCI, Comfoods and LPCMC are to decongest the Pasong Tamo River, Narra and Pasong Cobra creeks, respectively, through surface cleanup and engineering solutions. They are also expected to conduct information and education campaigns within surrounding communities and mobilize them in the cleanup of the pilot sites.

The MOA also provides for other future interventions such as construction of wetlands, planting of bamboo and other species along riverbanks, and construction of green linear parks.

For its part, the DENR, through its Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), is tasked to provide technical assistance to the involved communities especially in solid waste management. It shall also monitor the water quality and the establishments along the waterways.

Each MOA is effective for one year and may be extended by the involved parties.

Aside from Paje and DENR-EMB National Capital Regional Director Roberto Sheen, other signatories for their respective MOAs were Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) Assistant General Manager Dolora Nepomuceno, DMCI President Alfredo Austria and Rotary Club of Diliman Silangan Charter President Arch. Rodino Bernardo for the Pasong Tamo River; Comfoods Assistant Vice-President Horacio Araneta for Narra Creek; and Las Piñas City Medical Center Pollution Control Officer Nanette Cerna for the Pasong Cobra Creek.

The DENR’s Adopt-an-Estero/Waterbody program has proven to be successful in Metro Manila and has been replicated nationwide, drawing a total of 286 signed agreements from the business sector, private organizations and local government units.