Power firm wants river systems, creeks in communities protected

With the aim of protecting the river systems and creeks that run through its host communities, the Therma South Incorporated of Aboitiz Power Corporation on Tuesday, May 16, signed a memorandum of agreement with its host communities and the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Davao region to implement its “Adopt an Estero/Waterbody Program”.

Involved in the signing of the MOA were the host communities Inawayan in Sta. Cruz town, Davao del Sur and Binugao in Toril, Davao City.

River systems that will be covered by the “Adopt and Estero/Waterbody Program” include the Inawayan River and the Macaraing Creek in Binugao.

Engr. Valentin S. Saludes III, vice president and plant manager of TSI led the signing of the MOA together with the representatives of the local government units of barangays Binugao and Inawayan and the EMB-DENR-11.

“The program will not only focus on the protection of the river systems and creeks in our host communities. This is also a manifestation of our continued support to our partner communities,” said Jason Magnaye, manager of the Reputation and Stakeholder Management (RSM) of TSI during the opening of the signing ceremony.

TSI sits in a 75-hectare land, a portion of which is situated in Binugao, which is part of Davao City, and the other in Inawayan in Sta. Cruz.

TSI plant manager Saludes expressed gratitude to the host communities for helping the company in its environmental programs.

“We want to ensure that our river systems and creeks are clean because water is life. This is for our children and the future generation,” he said.

Saludes also emphasized that TSI’s programs for the environment are not only for the purpose of compliance with government regulations but a responsibility of the company to ensure that the surrounding waters in the area are potable for everyone.

TSI will be tasked to take the lead in clean-up drives in the adopted river and creek and to pursue information education campaigns on the importance of riverbank stabilization and river protection.

The MOA also stated that TSI will provide assistance in funding for the protection efforts of the river and creek in the community and supply the necessary equipment to ensure that geo-tagging is undertaken in every activity of the parties.

Meanwhile, host communities will also take the lead in the mobilization of residents in every clean-up and river enhancement activities.

The MOA said local officials will be tasked to coordinate with the landowners near the river and creek covered especially in the taking care of planted trees.

The MOA also emphasized that local governments of Inawayan and Binugao must ensure of the enactment of an ordinance that will strengthen solid waste management policies within their areas of jurisdiction.