Gina Lopez’ final wish was for gov’t to revive Pasig River
MANILA, Philippines — Hope for the revival of Pasig River.
This was the last message of environmentalist Gina Lopez for the Pasig River before she passed away last August 19.
The RiverMan magazine published the message on July 27, 2019 during its Puso Para Sa Ilog Pasig block screening.
Lopez described the Pasig River as “the main water artery of the nerve center of the country” but saying that due to its pollution, it’s carrying a huge negative impact not only to its surrounding area but to the nation as well.
Lopez stressed that while government is putting effort to clean up Manila Bay, she also hopes that projects to revive the beauty of Pasig River would also happen.
“The government has been bold enough to clean up the top tourist destination in the country — in record time — it is my fervent hope that in its effort to clean up Manila Bay — which I applaud wholeheartedly — the Bay being the mouth of the Pasig River — I hope that it will similarly take bold initiatives to clean up the Pasig River,” Lopez said.
“Only national government can achieve this formidably and doable talk in record time. It concerns 48 esteros and 17 municipalities. For the effort to have dramatic effect, it needs the strong arm approach of government coupled with compassion so that minimal people are adversely affected.”
“It can be done. I have high hopes that under the Duterte administration this will happen,” Lopez ended.
Lopez’ message was shared by Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) Executive Director Jose Antonio “Pepeton” Goitia on his Facebook page early Wednesday.
According to him, the Lopez crafted the message in her mobile phone so “the words used were what exactly came to her mind that very moment”
He said the PRRC did not expect that it was Lopez’ last message for the Pasig River and that PRRC is still “saddened by her passing.”
“Rest assured that we promised to keep her light shining in the rehabilitation of the Pasig River and to always keep the poor people in mind,” Goitia said.
“I agreed with her that at the end of the day, the poor people suffer the most from neglect of environment,” he added.
Lopez succumbed to multiple organ failure caused by brain cancer.
Lopez was an environmental protection advocate. She also served as Environment Secretary in the Duterte Cabinet. /muf
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