15,000 truck-loads of silts clog Bulacan rivers and waterways

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CITY OF MALOLOS—Bulacan will need to remove from its major rivers, Manila Bay off shores and waterways at least 15,000 dump truck loads or 282 million cubic meter of silts, sands and other sediments to finally address the 4 decades perennial flooding in the province. 

TCSC, a Filipino private mining and dredging company will conduct “Bulacan Desilting River/Restoration Project,” a cleaning and dredging efforts of the province’s waterways starting this May using seabed cleaner dredging plant—Water Jet Suction Dredger equipment. 

According to TCSC assistant to the president Bernilo Pacheco, their company which started four years ago in 2020 the river exploration, study and investigation of Bulacan major rivers and off shores including the flooding, are caused by clogged waterways where rain waters cannot flow out towards Manila Bay. The waterways are heavily filled with sediments, sands, silts, wastes and other human interventions making even the rivers to become too shallow. 

“Rivers are very shallow. River channels are full of sand, clay, silt and other sediments and other human interventions including the off shores of Manila Bay,” says TCSC in a presentation. 

Using 12 units of Water Jet Suction Dredger in 3 years time, the said 282 million cubic meter or 15,000 dump truck load of the silt and sediments will be hauled off in Bulacan’s clogged rivers, channels and ocean and sea embankments or offshores compare to 1,506 backhoe units within the same period, Pacheco explained. 

Pacheco said the project will be completed within three years or until 2027 where Bulacan can no longer experience flooding. 

Gov. Daniel Fernando with the support of Vice Gov. Alexis Castro and the rest of the other Provincial Government of Bulacan (PGB) officials and all the 24 Bulacan mayors and vice mayors launched the TCSC project on Monday in Shangri La Hotel in Mandaluyong City. 

Fernando said PGB will not spend any single centavo in the project but will even earn P3-Billion worth of taxes including a separate revenue for the national government. 

According to TCSC, a total of 282 million cubic meter silt, sands and other sediments composing of muds, wastes and other human interventions are needed to be extracted 

to make Bulacan flood-free within three years time. To be dredged and extracted are Pamarawan river’s 8,728,834  ; Angat river’s 80, 433, 858; Malolos and Pamarawan channel’s 50,768,770; Malolos river’s 139,002,250 and Angat off shore channel’s 13,099,758 million cubic meters. 

The current siltation accumulated for over four decades will already reach up to 20 meters depth, Pacheco added. 

“After the three years of cleaning and dredging, we will no longer experience flooding. We can use our budget for other significant purposes and no longer in relief and ayuda for the flood victims. We will finally address the 4 decades of flooding in our province. This project is a product of our long time search and ardent desire to end the flooding in our beloved province. We cannot just allow floods to regularly disturb our everyday lives during rainy days and typhoons,” Fernando said. 

The governor also said that the project is approved through an inter-agency partnership and cooperation between the Department of Public Works and Highways, the PGB and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. 

Pacheco said the project will earn Bulacan P3-billion worth of revenues for the 5% in gross sales, 10 % in extraction tax and a separate 4% tax for the national government. 

“For the 90 million cubic meters of silt with sand as the target volume to be extracted per year, there will be an approximately P3B (15% tax)  that will go to the PGB which will come from the gross revenue of 90 million cubic meters,” Pacheco explained to NEWS CORE on Wednesday. 

TCSC will use the dredged silt, sediments and sands in Bulacan to supply the needed filling materials in 2 reclamation projects—for Pasay Harbor and SM Prime. 

TCSC will spend P500 million each year during the three years dredging and cleaning. Initially for the geological investigation, and exploration, they have already spent P200 million.

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