Petron Corporation, one of the largest oil companies in the country, has expressed interest in helping the government rehabilitate the Marikina River under the Adopt-an-Estero program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje, Petron Corporation’s Chairperson, Ramon Ang and President, Eric Recto, are set to formalize the partnership today (Sept. 20) at the San Miguel Corporation head office in Mandaluyong City.

“With almost a year after it was launched in 2010, the ‘Adopt an Estero’ program has already gained widespread private sector support. The experiences of both our private sector and barangay partners are very inspiring especially when barangays tell us they have less flooding now and more community clean-up activities because of the program,” Paje said.

Under the agreement, Petron will undertake environmental improvement through dredging of creeks in the upstream portion of Marikina River. Information and education campaigns, community mobilization activities, and trainings for concerned stakeholders in the area will also conducted to ensure the sustainability of the program.

For its part, the DENR through its EMB-National Capital Region and the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) will intensify the water quality monitoring of industrial/commercial establishments, and provide technical assistance to concerned leaders and stakeholder groups in the area.

Both concerned parties have also agreed to undertake a study on the necessity for more dredging and desilting of the creek, introduction of interventions such as phyto-remediation through constructed wetlands, planting of bamboo and other plant species along the river banks, rip-rapping or coco-matting, construction, and greening of linear parks.

Launched in 2010 by the DENR, the Adopt-an-Estero/River Program is a collaborative undertaking between and among communities residing along esteros and rivers, donor-partners, local government units, and other government agencies. The program aims to build partnerships among concerned sectors and organizations to restore the healthy state of esteros and rivers as well as safeguard the well-being of residents.

In Metro Manila, among the private establishments that are actively involved in the revival of creeks and other waterways include the Manila North Tollways Corporation for portions of the Tullahan River at Barangays Ugong in Valenzuela City and Talipapa in Quezon City; Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association; Sagip Ilog Pilipinas Movement for the Diliman Creek and its minor tributaries; San Miguel Foundation for Tullahan River from MacArthur Highway all the way to Manila Bay; AMKOR Technology Philippines Inc. for Palico Creek located at Brgys. Buli and Cupang in Muntinlupa City.

Skyway Operations and Maintenance Corporation for Maricaban Creek traversing the cities of Taguig, Makati, Pasay and Paranaque, Udenna Environmental Services, and Inter-Continental Waste Disposal Systems for Mauling Creek in Taguig City; Philippine Coastal and River Guards Agroupation for the Tripa de Gallina In Makati, Pasay, and Parañaque; and Adamson University for Estero de Balete In Ermita, Manila.