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DMCI Homes observed World Water Day on March 22 with its employees joining other volunteers in another cleanup of the company's adopted creek in Quezon City.
The DMCI Homes employees collected 200 sackfuls of trash from creeks under the JEM bridge, Stellar Place bridge and Carmel Avenue bridge in Barangay Bahay Toro and Barangay Culiat during the morning cleanup and properly disposed of them. They brought and distributed cleanup equipment, gears and blue t-shirts with the words "I am cleaning up our water" to dozens of volunteers from the Rotary Club of Diliman Silangan, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Barangay Bahay Toro, Barangay Culiat, and Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) at the JEM Bridge along Visayas Avenue before all of them descended to the Pasong Tamo Creek to remove trash from the waterway.
It will be the second major cleanup of the creek coinciding with the yearly World Water Day by the same group of volunteers in the only Adopt-An-Estero project of the DENR supported by a property developer and the Rotary Club.
"We want this cleanup to be a regular thing to promote environmental consciousness not only to our employees but also to the residents of our communities," says Jan Venturanza, senior marketing manager of DMCI Homes.
DMCI Homes is the developer of Stellar Place, a resort-style residential village consisting of two six-storey and one 15-storey condominium buildings. The company's CSR dubbed Kaakbay gives back to the communities, where its residential projects are located, in various ways. It signed a memorandum of agreement with the DENR in 2012 adopting a 1.63-kilometer stretch of the Pasong Tamo Creek for rehabilitation. Under the agreement, DMCI Homes provides material and manpower support to clean and beautify the creek, including setting up trash traps and serving food to volunteer cleaners.
A DENR official said it is important to have private partners like DMCI Homes and Rotary Club to rehabilitate polluted creeks.
"DENR cannot undertake the program on its own because of its small budget. We don't have the funds for buying cleaning materials and food for volunteers," says Wilma Uyaco, the head of the Water Quality Monitoring unit of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), the DENR sub-agency spearheading the Adopt-An-Estero program. "When DMCI Homes adopted the creek, regular cleanup started."
Engr. Marivic Quides, EMB's interim head for special projects, says the cleanup helps improve the water quality of the creek.
"What we are doing is to make the public aware that we are giving importance to waterways so others in the community will be encouraged to follow our lead," says Quides.
Residents are also educated not to throw their waste into the creek with the DENR conducting related seminars to subdivision homeowners and the DMCI Homes providing educational flyers, according to Rotary Club of Diliman Silangan Charter President Rodino Bernardo.
"A lot of work comes into making sure water improves in terms of quality. You can clean and clean but if there is no community participation, there is no water quality improvement," says Bernardo.
The adoption of the creek by DMCI Homes is part of a bigger project of the Rotary Club chapter to preserve a 560-hectare Quezon City watershed whose combined waterways stretch 20 kilometers long. Bernardo says it tied up the DENR with 10 companies that adopted portions of the waterways. He says DMCI Homes adopted the Pasong Tamo Creek because it has a stake to improve the estuary, whose part borders Stellar Place along Visayas Avenue. The other partners in rehabilitating the creek are the MMDA, LLDA, BSP and the local barangay. In the latest cleanup, DMCI Homes' sister company Maynilad Water Services Inc. also got involved by providing drinking water for the volunteers.
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