MANILA -- Villages (barangays) along Tullahan River and its tributaries will formally join the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in cleaning up these waterways.

These local government units (LGUs) will simultaneously sign next week their respective agreements, spelling out their clean-up duties and initiatives for the waterways, noted DENR Climate Change Service OIC Director Elenida Basug.

"That'll require present and future officials of those LGUs to implement what the agreements say," she said.

She said such officials are duty-bound to clean up as the agreements are commitments of respective LGUs and not of barangay captains who signed these.

Carrying out the commitments will complement the clean-up work that conglomerate San Miguel Corporation (SMC) and other DENR partners will undertake at Tullahan River and its tributaries.

Cleaning up such waterways aims to improve water quality and mitigate the flow of pollutants into Manila Bay.

The clean-up is among activities aimed at helping rehabilitate Manila Bay to make it fit again for swimming and other forms of recreation.

"We'd like to follow through activities for the Battle for Manila Bay," said Basug.

She said the barangay LGUs' signing event will be at a designated area along Tullahan River.

DENR and its partners will meet to finalize the event's details, she said.

The signing of the agreements is aligned with DENR's bid to promote multi-sector action on saving waterways and water bodies nationwide from further environmental degradation, she noted.

Tullahan River flows from Quezon City to Navotas and Malabon cities downstream before discharging into Manila Bay.

Tullahan River and its tributaries comprise the system within the Malabon-Navotas-Tullahan-Tinajeros water quality management area.

Tinajeros River is a segment and not a branch of Tullahan River, noted DENR.

Earlier, SMC signed with DENR the memorandum of agreement covering the company's clean-up of Tullahan River.

SMC pledged PHP1 billion for the clean-up.

The conglomerate also cited the possibility of completing the clean-up in two years if there are no hitches beyond its control.

Among such hitches are protests of parties affected by the clean-up of Tullahan River. (PNA)