The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has lauded San Miguel Corporation (SMC) for dredging almost 40 percent of silt from Pasig River in just nine months since the start of the dredging project in June 2021.

DENR Acting Secretary Jim Sampulna recognized the effort of the diversified conglomerate after dredging 321,670 cubic meters of silt and sand, out of the target 836,659 cubic meters, from Pasig River as of March 31.

“We acknowledge the firm commitment of SMC to finish nearly one third of its target to dredge silt and heavy materials out of Pasig River in just a matter of nine months since the project started in June last year,” Sampulna said.

DENR and SMC have signed a memorandum of agreement on June 9, 2021 for the implementation of the P2-billion Pasig River Dredging Project.

The project aims to reduce flooding in Metro Manila with increased hydraulic capacity of the river, deepen shallow waters to improve shipping vessel transport, and remove debris and garbage from the river to revive marine life.

In a report to the DENR last March 31, SMC bared that dredging operations are ongoing in three out of five priority sectors.

Around 134,500 metric tons of silt have been dredged from Sector 2 Paco to San Miguel in Manila including Malacañang area.

Meanwhile, around 147,500 metric tons have been dredged in Sector 3—Pandacan/Sta. Mesa also in Manila including San Juan River junction.

Around 39,670 metric tons have been dredged in Sector 4, covering C-5 to Marikina River junction in Pasig City.

The dredging activities in Sectors 1 and 5, covering Manila Bay to Ayala Bridge and C-5/Marikina to Laguna Lake areas, have yet to start as these sectors have the largest volume of target silt at 213,347 cubic meters and 253,969 cubic meters, respectively.

Sampulna also acknowledged the extent of the remaining volume to be dredged and expressed confidence in SMC’s capacity to complete the project.

“We still have a long way to go to clear the river of silt and to widen it. But with the sufficient resources and top-quality equipment of SMC, they will be able to finish this project in no time,” Sampulna said.

SMC is awaiting additional equipment for expansion of its dredging operations in April. ###