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Duterte says reviving ‘waste basin’ Pasig River ‘impossible’

/ 09:47 PM September 17, 2019
Pasig River at Ayala Bridge

A view of the Pasig River at the Ayala Bridge, which connects Ermita and San Miguel districts of Manila. (File photo by NIÑO JESUS ORBETA / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he believes that reviving Pasig River is “impossible” as it has now become the basin of Metro Manila’s waste.

In a speech before newly appointed officials in Malacanñang, Duterte said he would “remove” Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) and transfer the Pasig River’s rehabilitation efforts to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

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“Maski ano. Pasig Bureau, Pasig department – department of Pasig. ‘Yang Pasig na ‘yan, hindi mo malinis ‘yan because wala naman tayong zoning,” Duterte said.

“Over the years, ang labasan ng mga factory, mga bahay, lahat, Pasig River. O how you can — you clean that? Kaya itong commission sa Pasig tanggalin ko na ito, place it under (DENR Sec. Roy) Cimatu sa DENR. (You’re) just paying people with… useless. Hindi mo malinis talaga ‘yan,” he added.

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Duterte earlier transferred the chairmanship of the PRRC to DENR from the Department of Budget and Management.

Under Duterte’s executive order, the DENR secretary or his authorized representative will be the chairman of the PRRC while the chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority or his authorized representative will be the co-chair.

READ: Duterte names DENR as new chair of Pasig River Rehab Commission 

The PRRC was created by then-President Joseph Estrada to lead the rehabilitation efforts of the famed body of water.

Last week, Duterte also fired Jose Antonio Goitia as PRRC’s head due to alleged corruption.

READ: Duterte fires Pasig River rehabilitation commission exec 

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