Pasig River is finalist in Asia Riverprize
Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) - October 11, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Pasig River, cradle of early Manila civilization, is a finalist in the first ever Asia Riverprize by the prestigious International RiverFoundation (IRF).

The IRF recognizes and rewards organizations that are making a difference through effective river basin restoration and management programs.

The selection of the Pasig River as finalist in the Asia RiverPrize Award is another achievement for the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC), after a successful campaign in the 2017 Thiess International Riverprize competition where Pasig River was named runner-up to the winner, San Antonio River of Texas, USA.

“The consecutive entries of the Pasig River as a finalist in the 2017 and 2018 Thiess International and Asia Riverprize, respectively, are a testament that the world recognizes the efforts of the Philippine government to restore the Pasig River and its environs since PRRC was established in 1999,” PRRC executive director Jose Antonio Goitia said.

The competition was initially called the Asia-Pacific Riverprize Awards, open to entrants from New Zealand, Australia and 45 other countries.

However, according to the IRF, due to the high number and quality of entries received, the foundation made the decision to split the Asia-Pacific Riverprize into two: Asia Riverprize and another category for the Australasia Riverprize. 

After a series of deliberations, the IRF aside from announcing the selection of Pasig River as a finalist also declared it as having garnered the highest honors in river restoration and protection along with the Yangtze River of China.

“Last year, the Philippines was the only third world and developing country that made it into the international finals and bravely competed with the US and the United Kingdom. In this year’s Asia Riverprize, we will be facing another superpower… China,” Goitia said.

On behalf of the IRF’s board of river basin experts, IRF director professor Bill Dennison says that “these different river stories are united by a common theme: excellence in river management.”

The Riverprize is not a competition for cleanest or most beautiful river, the IRF said. The foundation comprised of river management experts and professionals from around the world has given importance and consideration to the rehabilitation efforts of the PRRC to bring the Pasig River system back to life.

Although the Pasig River development is a work in progress, many areas along the historic river have shown signs of aquatic life and become conducive for transport, recreation and tourism.

Goitia, with members of PRRC’s management committee, will be presenting and defending the Philippines’ Pasig River entry to a panel of judges in the 21st International Riversymposium on Oct. 14 to 18 in Sydney, Australia.

INTERNATIONAL RIVERFOUNDATION
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