DAVAO CITY – Therma South, Inc. (TSI), a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power Corp. (Aboitiz-Power), has signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with its host communities for the protection of river systems and creeks in barangays Binugao and Toril in Davao City and Inawayan in Sta. Cruz town, Davao del Sur.
The MOA will pave the way for the full implementation of the “Adopt an Estero/Waterbody Program” of TSI in the area.
Bodies of water to be adopted in the communities include the Inawayan River and the Macaraing Creek in Binugao.
The signing of the agreement Tuesday afternoon was led by Engr. Valentin Saludes III, vice president and plant manager of TSI, together with the representatives of barangays Binugao and Inawayan.
The ceremony was also witnessed by the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Davao region and the officers and staff of TSI and AboitizPower.
“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 prior to 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.
For his part, 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,” Saludes pointed out.
He also emphasized that TSI’s programs for the environment are not only for the purpose of compliance to government regulations but a responsibility of the company to ensure that the surrounding waters in the area are potable for everyone.
Under the agreement, TSI is 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.
TSI will also 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.
The host communities will take the lead in the mobilization of residents in every clean-up and river enhancement activities, the MOA said.
The local officials are also tasked to coordinate with the landowners near the river and creek, 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.