(SALUTATIONS)

ALLOW ME TO EXTEND MY SINCEREST GRATITUDE TO THE DIFFERENT NATIONAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS, PRIVATE SECTOR ORGANIZATIONS HEADED BY OUR PARTNER COMPANY – THE SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION – OTHER CONCERNED INDIVIDUALS, OUR FRIENDS FROM MEDIA,// AND ALL OTHER ENVIRONMENT WARRIORS WHO HAVE JOINED US TODAY.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THIS IS A HISTORIC DAY. TODAY, WE WILL WITNESS A GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY, SIGNALING THE FORMAL START OF THE DREDGING OPERATIONS OF THE TULLAHAN-TINAJEROS RIVER SYSTEM.

THERE ARE TWO DREDGING CURRENTLY HAPPENING TODAY – THE FIRST ONE IS IN SAN JUAN RIVER BEING WORKED BY DPWH. GINAGAWA PAPO NGAYON DYAN KASI MAS MATAAS PA ANG COLIFORM LEVEL.

AS WE ALL KNOW, TULLAHAN RIVER IS NOT ONLY SIGNIFICANT IN ITS LENGTH, ITS IMPORTANCE CANNOT BE OVEREMPHASIZED. HENCE, ITS CLEANUP IS CRITICAL TO OUR BIGGER MISSION: THE REHABILITATION OF MANILA BAY.

THIS TULLAHAN RIVER IS ALMOST 60-KILOMETER RIVER THAT CAN ACTUALLY BE RETRACED. MAG-UUMPISA ITONG CONTINOUS NA TUBIG DITO, PERO PAG NAG RELEASE NG TUBIG SA ANGAT DAM, DYAN NA RIN DUMADAAN DYAN SA LA MESA RESERVOIR BEFORE REACHING THE MANILA BAY THROUGH NAVOTAS CITY, IS THE LONGEST OF ALL THE RIVERS THAT BRING POLLUTED WATER TO MANILA BAY. ITS AVERAGE COLIFORM LEVEL IS ALREADY VERY FAR FROM THE SAFE AND ALLOWABLE LEVEL.

TO CLEARLY ILLUSTRATE THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS RIVER SYSTEM AND THE IMPORTANCE OF KEEPING IT CLEAN, TULLAHAN RIVER BRANCHES OUT AT POLO RIVER IN MALABON. IT THEN FLOWS NORTHWARDS UNTIL IT DRAINS OFF AT THE MEYCAUAYAN RIVER IN OBANDO, BULACAN.

IN CLEANING TULLAHAN RIVER THEREFORE, WE WILL HAVE AN EASIER TASK OF CLEANING MANILA BAY. ALSO BY DOING SO, WE WILL HELP PREVENT FLOODING.// THAT IS HITTING THREE BIRDS WITH ONE STONE.

I DREAM THAT ONE DAY, I SHALL SEE THE TULLAHAN RIVER AS AN ALTERNATIVE ROUTE FOR TRAVELLING FROM QUEZON CITY TO NAVOTAS CITY. I DREAM THAT THIS GROUNDBREAKING WILL LEAD TO A CLEANER MANILA BAY AND FEWER INSTANCES OF FLOODS AROUND METRO MANILA. THIS IS THE KIND OF DREAM THAT BINDS US.

I AM CONFIDENT THAT CLEANER AND SAFER WATER FOR FILIPINOS IS WHAT INSPIRED OUR PARTNER COMPANY – THE SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION – TO ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH DENR AND PLEDGED TO LEND ITS EQUIPMENT AND EXPERTISE, ALL FOR THE DESIRE TO HAVE THIS RIVER SYSTEM CLEANED.

THIS AGREEMENT STARTS RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW, WHEN WE START THE DREDGING OPERATIONS.

THIS IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF COLLABORATION BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE SECTOR. THIS IS A PARTNERSHIP FORGED IN TRUST, JOINED BY A VISION, AND DRIVEN BY PASSION. KUNG SAMA-SAMA, KAYANG KAYA.

MORE THAN THE FACT THAT WE CANNOT DO IT ALONE, THIS COMMITMENT OF SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION TO HELP US IN THIS ENORMOUS TASK MAGNIFIES THE IMPORTANCE OF SHARED RESPONSIBILITY. AS WE ARE ALL PART OF THE PROBLEM, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, WE CAN ALL BE PART OF THE SOLUTION. SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION HAS JUST SHOWN US THE WAY// ON HOW TO BECOME PART OF THE SOLUTION.

MAY THIS PARTNERSHIP INSPIRE OTHER CORPORATIONS TO INCLUDE IN THEIR CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY THE CLEANUP OF OUR WATERWAYS.

TO SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION, MAY YOU REMAIN STEADFAST IN YOUR SUPPORT TO DENR AND CONTINUE TO BE OUR STAUNCH PARTNER IN MORE PROGRAMS FOR CLEANER AND HEALTHIER PHILIPPINES.

MARAMING SALAMAT AT MABUHAY TAYONG LAHAT!