San Miguel President Ramon Ang said Tuesday his Pasig River clean-up project would start in May, with the goal of removing 600,000 metric tons of waste annually from the capital's main waterway that has long symbolized urban pollution.
The project is fully funded by San Miguel Corp. and is jointly undertaken with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Public Works and Highways, Ang said.
According to Ang, the company completed the initial bathymetric survey of the Pasig River from the Pandacan, Manila area going upstream. Further studies of the Manila Bay to Pandacan area are also underway.
"This is a very important environmental effort, and we want to do it right. Cleaning up the Pasig River has been a dream for many Filipinos, even our older generations, so we want to make sure our plan is strategic and effective. While we will use science and utilize modern technology, this project can only succeed with the cooperation of all stakeholders," Ang said.
To aid in cleanup efforts, the company recently took delivery of a marine echo sounder, a hydrographic survey equipment that uses sonar to determine the depths of water, by sending acoustic waves into the water, Ang said.
A Cutter Suction Dredger and a 800-metric ton hopper barge capable of removing 50,000 metric tons of silt and solid waste per month are seen to make the cleanup a reality.
For dredging efforts and river widening, the compay is also acquiring an amphibious excavator.
Ang said SMC was also looking at soil test from Manila Bay to Pandacan. Consultants from the DPWH were also requested to conduct their own hydrographic study and dredging plan.
Previously, dredging plans were drawn up for the area near Marikina River. This will be the first dredging effort dedicated to the Pasig River, according to the DPWH.
The cleanup project is part of SMC's P95 billion effort to build the Pasig River Expressway. The elevated toll road aims to connext the east and west sides of Metro Manila, from R-10 road in Manila to Edsa and C-5.
Once completed, the road is projected to decongest Rizal, Cainta, and Marikina and allow easy access to Makati, Ortigas, and Bonifacio Global City. The Skyway System will also be accessible via this toll road.