The San Juan City government, in partnership with Manila Water and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) launched Wednesday its Adopt-an-Estero program to mitigate the city’s growing waterway problems.

The program is said to improve the water quality of San Juan River, specifically in Maytunas Creek and Ermitanyo Creek.

“We are happy to partner with Manila Water in this endeavor and are grateful for all their efforts in helping clean up the San Juan River. This is just one of the things that we are currently doing in creating a greener city and taking care of the environment. San Juan is also a staunch advocate of biking and waste segregation, which are both in effect in our barangays,” San Juan City Mayor Francisco Zamora said.

Zamora, together with Manila Water President and CEO Jose Rene Gregory Almendras, Manila Water COO Engr. Abelardo Basilio, MWSS CO Ronald Abrigo, MWSS-RO Chief Regulator Atty. Patrick Ty, and DENR Secretary Ret. Gen. Roy Cimatu led the ceremonial dropping of 1,000 Mabuhay Balls into Maytunas Creek.

The Mabuhay Balls are bokashi balls that are proven to help neutralize toxic water by eating away coliform bacteria and removing foul odors in the waterways. Each ball is the size of a tennis ball composed of clay soil, effective microorganisms, and Mabuhay mix (rice bran, sugar, and salt). 

Aside from the Adopt-an-Estero program, the city will also implement a program together with the Asian Social Institute to conduct Mabuhay Balls Livelihood Tutorial for Communities wherein out-of-school youth and/or displaced workers in San Juan will get training on how to make these balls.

The program will also include studies and seminars to identify strategies and techniques that can be used to allow stable flow of water movement in the creek and to prevent stagnation. 

The mayor also appealed to his constituents to be disciplined in throwing away their garbage and help in maintaining the cleanliness of San Juan waterways.

Zamora added that the Adopt-an-Estero program will also be implemented in Mandaluyong City in February and Quezon City in March.

Source: Manila Bulletin (