LET us not dance around -- many businesses and businessmen are polluters and destroyers of the environment, especially the mineral extraction industry or mining.
Even if directed by the government to rehabilitate the areas which had given and continue to give them tons of money in profits, some businesses just do not comply.
This is true in monopolies, where there is no competition. More so if the monopoly is the holder of a government franchise, and runs essential industries such as water, electricity, etc.
It is therefore worthy to note that there are businessmen who spend much time, effort and money to help the government in cleaning up important river systems and seas which have been abused for so long by residents and industries that contribute to their pollution.
One such firm is San Miguel Corporation, headed by Ramon S. Ang.
For some time now, his SMC has been busy taking out garbage, flotsam and jetsam, that impeded the flow of water in the Tullahan-Tinajeros, contributing to the huge floods in the Camanava areas every time there's heavy rainfall.
But aside from spending millions of its own money, SMC also convinces other big businesses to chip in, and its requests and advocacies had found supporters abroad.
The latest news is that a Japanese shipping company is providing $1.5 million (P75.6 million) to help the diversified conglomerate rehabilitate the Pasig and Tullahan-Tinajeros River systems.
Tokyo-based shipping firm Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line) will donate $1.5 million over a five-year period to buy additional equipment needed for the project.
NYK’s donation will be coursed through the San Miguel Foundation and will go to the acquisition of additional equipment to be used for targeted river dredging and clean-up operations. NYK has operations in liner trade, air cargo transportation, logistics, bulk shipping, and real estate, and is the preferred employers of many Filipino seafarers.
SMC is spending P1 billion for the clean-up of the Tullahan-Tinajeros River, initially hauling off 533,498 metric tons of silt and filth in the Navotas, Malabon and Valenzuela sections.
They have the same objective in Pasig River, with an even bigger budget, P2 billion. The Malacanang Palace and Pandacan sections of the river had been free of 100,000 metric tons of solid waste.
Despite these efforts, the usual nitpickers had been criticizing Ramon Ang and SMC for its Pasig River expressway (PAREX) and the Bulacan International Airport project, which are all planned to improve or rehabilitate the environs in these areas, aside from improving on a grand scale the mobility of Filipinos, and thus giving them the opportunities to earn a living.