The signatories to the Pasig River declaration led by AFI managing director and PRRC chair Gina Lopez (seated, fifth from left)There is hope for the Pasig River yet as P293 million has been allocated for the next stage of the rehabilitation of the waterway—the cleanup of six tributaries—to be carried out within the year.
This developed as heads ofnational agencies, local government units and non profit organizations signed a historic declaration to take action during the Pasig River Forum organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC).
Present for the signing were ABS-CBN Foundation Inc. (AFI) managing director and concurrent PRRC chair Gina Lopez, Environment Sec. Ramon Paje, Public Works Sec. Rogelio Singson, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Francisco Tolentino, National Housing Authority general manager Chito Cruz, Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage Services chairman Ramon Alicpala and Laguna Lake Development Authority general manager Nereus Acosta.
Also among those present were Marikina mayor Del de Guzman, Mandaluyong mayor Benjamin Abalos Jr., Pateros mayor Jaime Medina, Sagip Pasig Movement executive director Myrna Jimenez and AFI’s Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig project director Grace Sumalpong. On hand to witness the event was the ADB director general of the Southeast Asia department, Kunio Senga.
“If concomitant efforts to clean the river are initiated with gusto at the local government level and these are fully supported by dynamic national government agencies, there is no way that river will not be cleaned,” said Lopez. “We can do it in record time, we just need to work together and we need to be determined.”
Issues such as aligning urban renewal and settlers, reducing pollution and waste in the river, zone riverbank development, and engaging stakeholders and partners were also tackled in four group sessions during the forum.
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