Pasig River restoration cited

Rhodina Villanueva - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Pasig River has been selected by the International River Foundation (IRF) as a finalist in the 2017 Thiess International Riverprize that recognizes and rewards organizations in countries with best river restoration and management programs.

Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) executive director Jose Antonio Goitia said the selection of the Pasig River was a result of efforts to rehabilitate the river since the commission’s establishment in 1999.

Thiess International Riverprize chairman of the judging panel Bill Dennison congratulated the organizations chosen as finalists with the highest honors in river restoration and protection, namely: Tweed River (United Kingdom), San Antonio River (Texas, USA), Nushagak and Kvichak Rivers (Alaska, USA) and the Pasig River (Philippines).

Goitia said the Philippines is the only Third World and developing country that made it to this year’s finals.

Dennison said they received a record number of 31 submissions this year for excellent river management and the overall quality of the submissions has been higher than ever.

The IRF, comprised of river management experts and professionals from around the world, has taken notice and consideration of the rehabilitation efforts of the PRRC to bring the Pasig River back to its historically-pristine condition and all the hard work it has done in easement recovery, housing and resettlement, riverbanks development, solid and liquid waste management and public awareness projects, programs and activities.

“Compared to the 1990s when it was declared ‘biologically dead,’ the Pasig River’s condition now has significantly improved. Although the Pasig River is yet to achieve the water quality that we ultimately target, some areas along the historic river have already shown signs of aquatic life and it has become conducive for transport, recreation and tourism,” Goitia said.

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