Pasig River water hyacinth clearing operations set
MANILA, Philippines — The Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) has reactivated its Task Force Water Hyacinth to keep the waterway open to navigation amid the rapid proliferation of water hyacinths ahead of the rainy season.
“We acknowledge that the quick proliferation of water hyacinth might cause inconvenience to the riding public of Pasig River Ferry Service,” the PRRC said in an advisory issued on Monday.
“To prevent this problem and to keep the Pasig River navigable, we reactivated the PRRC Task Force Water Hyacinth group,” it added.
The PRRC said that the water hyacinth plants have now started to spread across the Pasig River all way from Laguna Lake.
“Being a tidal estuary, the coming of water hyacinths to the Pasig River is an indication that the water level in Laguna Lake is getting higher than Manila Bay’s mean sea level (MSL),” the PRRC said.
The PRRC, the state commission responsible for the rehabilitation of the Pasig River, further said it received reports about sightings of green slime in some parts of the river.
“We would like to clarify that the green slime’or pigment is actually water hyacinth algal bloom. Indeed, water hyacinths are coming,” it said.
The PRRC, meanwhile, reminded the public that “water hyacinths bring us more benefits than risks, socio-economically.”
“We use them in removing heavy metals from the Pasig River and its tributaries. Also, we use them as raw materials in our hand loom weaving livelihood program,” it said.
“We help poor families in Baseco convert water hyacinths into table runners, fans, slippers and bracelets and sell them so they will have a source of livelihood,” it added.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) recently said that the onset of the rainy season is expected this June. (Editor: Gilbert S. Gaviola)
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