San Miguel Corp. has started a “massive” mangrove planting project aiming to plant some 190,000 mangroves over 76 hectares of coastal areas in the province and parts of Central Luzon, to mitigate flooding ahead of the construction of the Manila International Airport.

The first phase of the project aims to plant 25,000 mangroves on 10 hectares of Hagonoy, Bulacan’s coasts before 2021.

“It’s all part of the airport development master plan. We will not be investing over P700 billion if flooding and environmental concerns are not addressed,” San Miguel President Ramon Ang said in a statement.

“This project is a major component of our strategy to help solve flooding in Bulacan once and for all. Mangroves are essential to protect against flooding,” he said.

San Miguel earlier this year began a P1-billion dredging and clean-up of the Tullahan-Tinajeros River system.

The San Miguel airport will start construction in October.

“This airport will not only be modern, sustainable and game-changing for the economy and the people, it will also bring a lot of good for Bulacan, its local industries, and neighboring provinces–one of which is it will help solve flooding,” Ang said. John Ezekiel J. Hirro