Pasig River dredging about to begin

San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is gearing up to dredge the Pasig River, a heavily-silted and polluted water body – still considered an economically important river in Metro Manila.

Under their official plan, SMC will annually remove 600,000 tons of silt and solid waste from Pasig River over the next five years, as it awaits the arrival of two units of dredging equipment.

“Through the years, Pasig River has become narrower and shallower because of accumulated silt and waste. By cleaning and widening it, we will be able to increase its capacity to keep water flowing within its banks especially during heavy rains,” SMC President, Ramon S. Ang, said in a press release yesterday.

The 25.2-kilometer river connects Manila Bay and Laguna de Bay. It once served as an important passenger and commercial route in and out of Manila, the country’s capital city.

Over the years, the degradation of the Pasig River, including its siltation, reduced its capacity to absorb and channel water during heavy and excessive rains, causing flooding in low-lying areas.

SMC, together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and other concerned government units, is targeting to extract 50,000 tons of waste per month from the river.

Photo: Commuters of Metro Manila