Sueno asks LGUs: Don’t let residents trash Pasig river
Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno on Monday urged local government units (LGUs) in areas located beside the Pasig River to help save it by stopping their residents from throwing trash into the waterway.
Sueno made the appeal to government officials in Manila, Makati, Mandaluyong, Pasig, Taguig and Pateros, saying their help was needed so that the national government would succeed in rehabilitating the river.
“Governance of the water is just as important as governance of the land. It is the duty of LGUs in Metro Manila, where Pasig River spans, to ensure that residents and informal settler families (ISFs) do not dispose [of] their domestic waste [in] the river,” he said in a statement.
“If households continue to dump their trash into the river, it makes futile the efforts of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) and other public and private individuals and groups,” Sueno added.
The PRRC is tasked with restoring the river’s water quality to Class C level which means it will be suitable for fishing, recreational activities like boating and a source of water supply for manufacturing processes “after treatment.”
According to the PRRC, the 27-kilometer Pasig River is much cleaner now compared to the 1990s when it was declared “biologically dead.”
Sueno said the long-term solution to the problem was for LGUs, together with concerned housing agencies, to relocate informal settlers living beside the waterway.
“How can we make Pasig River attractive for tourism and recreation if there are makeshift, crude dwellings and garbage in some parts of the stretch of the river?” he asked.
“A higher cause for relocating ISFs is saving them from vulnerability to natural disasters and flooding. Ideally, houses should be 10 meters away from the river,” Sueno added.
He also underscored the importance of “conscientiously rehabilitating Pasig River as an alternative means of transportation,” citing the ferry system being operated by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.