With the renewed partnership between the DENR and Aboitiz Groups on the Expanded National Greening Program (ENGP) last month came another signing of agreement on the Battle for Manila Bay last August 16. The Memorandum of Agreement initiated by the Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) and Aboitiz Foundation aims to support the sustainable clean-up and rehabilitation of the San Juan River System. It is a three-year project that will be managed and directed by the said company.
The San Juan River System flows through the water systems of Pasig, Manila, Quezon City, and Mandaluyong -- an indication that it affects most parts of Metro Manila. Mr. Sabin Aboitiz, the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of AEV, stated that their group responds to the call of DENR regarding water problem. They employ the "wealth out of waste" program through a sustainable approach on eliminating wastes, assuring that it sustains the livelihood of the communities. Some of the current initiatives of the Aboitiz Group include the Aboitiz Synergy Park in Davao City which provides sanctuary for endangered turtles and bird species and the A-Park which is the company's biggest contribution to DENR in support for ENGP.
DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu emphasized the importance of the support of the local government units, communities, non-government organizations, non-government agencies, private groups, and potential partners. The planning process for the project will begin this year while the bulk of the activities will kick off by 2020.