East Zone concessionaire Manila Water led the Adopt-an-Estero memorandum of agreement ceremonial signing together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and several local government units (LGUs) to fully implement the cleanup and rehabilitation of San Juan River and its tributaries.
The program further underscores the commitment of each partner-agency to address pressing issues about the environment.
The event also marked the signing of an updated usufruct agreement between the DENR and Manila Water for the upgrading of the East Avenue sewage treatment plant in Quezon City.
The upgrade covers the retrofitting of the facility in compliance with the DENR AO 2016-08, which set the standards for biological nutrient removal in treated effluent, as well as the expansion of its sewerage network.
Back in January, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said one of the department’s goals is to clean the San Juan River, to which Manila Water immediately responded by pledging its support by way of the Adopt-an-Estero program.
The program aims to clean up the dirtiest creeks in Metro Manila, including Maytunas, Ermitanyo, Buhangin and Buayang Bato creeks.
The concessionaire initiated due diligence in the cleanup of San Juan River and its tributaries to help formulate technical and social solutions by “adopting” the creeks that traverse Quezon City, San Juan and Mandaluyong.
For their part, the LGUs pledged to support desludging services or siphoning of septic vaults in the households; provide cleaning materials during the cleanup drives; participate in information, education and communication campaigns and other river cleanup programs which are some of their initiatives under the Adopt-an-Estero program.
DENR Assistant Secretary Ricardo Calderon, representing Cimatu, expressed his gratitude to Manila Water and the other partners for their unwavering support through the implementation of various programs and initiatives geared towards protection of the environment.
On the other hand, Mayors Joy Belmonte (Quezon City) and Francis Zamora (San Juan) also echoed their full support and both lauded Manila Water’s consistent efforts with strong commitment on further expanding water and wastewater services.
Meanwhile, Manila Water president and CEO Jose Rene Almendras explained that in support of the government’s mandate and infrastructure programs, Manila Water will be building more sewage treatment facilities and expand the sewer network as part of its overall wastewater roadmap for the East Zone.
He added that this is also to manifest Manila Water’s steadfast commitment to contribute to the rehabilitation of Manila Bay and other waterways.
Almendras also added that this is the very first event organized by Manila Water with a combination of virtual and physical signatories and attendees. The Adopt-an-Estero program aims to clean up the dirtiest creeks in Metro Manila including Maytunas and Ermitanyo Creek, as well as Buhangin and Buayang Bato Creek.
Manila Water is the private concessionaire of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System for the East Zone that serves more than seven million residents in the eastern portion of Metro Manila and the province of Rizal.