More companies join estero cleanup project
MANILA, Philippines—The government’s “Adopt-an-Estero” program is making steady gains in the effort to clean up waterways with the addition of three more private partners, including the local bakery chain Goldilocks Bakeshop Inc., officials said on Saturday.
The addition of Goldilocks, Caramel Pearl Inc., a manufacturing company in Mandaluyong City, and Aseana Business Park Estate Association Inc. brings to 430 the number of private companies now committed to the project.
Adopt-an-Estero seeks to rehabilitate some 232 waterways across the country through partnerships with private firms that fund cleanup drives and campaigns.
In a news release, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said the new partnerships boded well for the success of the program and its rapidly growing network.
He said Goldilocks and Caramel Pearl were working with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to help rehabilitate Ermitanyo Creek, a 4.78-kilometer-long water system running through five barangays—two in Mandaluyong and three in San Juan City—and draining into the San Juan river, a major tributary of the Pasig River.
Aseana has agreed to clean up a kilometer-long stretch of the Roxas Canal West connecting the Baclaran church area and barangay Tambo in Parañaque City. The water system is upstream of the Parañaque River and drains into Manila Bay.
Aseana is also developing a “green commercial and leisure area” spanning 1.2 kilometers along Roxas Boulevard in Manila, the DENR said.
The DENR has now forged partnerships with 31 companies in Metro Manila to revive 21 of the capital’s major waterways under the program.
“The support we are getting from the private sector to clean up our creeks and waterways really is unprecedented,” Paje said. “This also proves that public-private partnership for the environment under the Aquino administration is indeed working quite well.”
Under the memorandums of agreement, the adopting companies agree to implement the surface cleanup and to provide engineering solutions such as installation of trash traps, introduction of greening interventions (like planting, rip-rapping and constructing linear parks along riverbanks), assistance in the conduct of information and education campaign, and community mobilization.
The DENR, through the Environmental Management Bureau, regularly monitors the water quality in selected areas of each creek, river or estuary, assists in the establishment of materials recovery facilities, takes punitive actions against polluters, and assists in educational activities.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and the Department of Public Works and Highways-National Capital Region also assist the companies in the cleanup of the waterways.
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