DENR Acting Secretary and Task Force Build Back Better (TF-BBB) chair Jim O. Sampulna formally transferred dredging activities for the Marikina River Restoration Project to the Unified Project Management Office–Flood Control Management Cluster (UPMO-FCMC) of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in a ceremony held on Wednesday, 9 March 2022, at the Palaruang Batang Lambak Covered Court in Barangay Sta. Elena, Marikina City.

Sampulna explained that the decision to transfer the dredging works to the DPWH-UPMO-FCMC was made after the latter informed the TF-BBB that the Pasig-Marikina River Channel Improvement Project (PMRCIP) they are implementing likewise includes dredging parts of the river.

The PMRCIP is funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

“To avoid the duplication of works and to maximize the use of government resources, the Task Force agreed to transfer dredging activities of segment 2 to the DPWH-UPMO. From here onwards, they will be in charge of dredging Marikina River under the PMRCIP,” Sampulna said.

Marikina City Mayor Marcelino R. Teodoro and Vice Mayor Dr. Marion Andres attended the event, together with some members of the City Council.

Mr. Allendri Angeles, head of the Pasig City Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) represented Mayor Victor Ma. Regis “Vico” N. Sotto while Mr. Manny Rios of the Task Force on Solid Waste Collection, Cleaning and Disposal Services Management (TFSWCCDSM) stood in for Quezon City Mayor Josefina “Joy” Belmonte.

DPWH was represented by Assistant District Engineer Lamberto De Leon of the Metro Manila 1st District Engineering Office and Engr. Grecille Damo, Project Manager for the PMRCIP Phase 4.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chair, Atty. Romando S. Artes likewise graced the event.

While dredging works were transferred, Sampulna clarified that “TF-BBB will continue to be on top of the Marikina River Restoration Project, especially the rehabilitation of the riparian ecosystems of Marikina, Pasig, and Quezon City. DENR, through its regional office here in Metro Manila, would still lead tree planting activities and river cleanups in Marikina River together with partner organizations.”

“The TF-BBB will continue working with the local governments of Metro Manila to address the issue of perennial flooding in Marikina, Pasig, and Quezon City, and other areas along the Marikina River,” the Secretary added.

In support of the event, DENR National Capital Region set up a Community PanTREE and gave away free seedlings of vegetables and fruit-bearing trees.