Pasig River has improved, says DENR-NCR
MANILA, Philippines — The state of the Pasig River has improved, an official of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-National Capital Region claimed on Thursday.
“Ang Pasig River has improved. In fact when it comes to ‘yung mga informal settlers, medyo nagha-hands off na si DENR dahil na-address na,” Department of Environment and Natural Resources-National Capital Region Regional Executive Director Jacqueline Caancan said during a press briefing for the celebration of the International International Coastal Clean-up (ICC).
The DENR’s assessment came after President Rodrigo Duterte said the Pasig River could no longer be cleaned as he shared that he would remove the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) and have its transferred it to the DENR headed by Secretary Roy Cimatu.
“‘Yung paglilinis ng Pasig River, tuloy-tuloy lang ‘yan but as far as the EMB (Environmental Management Bureau) is concerned, regulated ang industry, regulated ang commercial discharging because of Clean Water Act. Ngayon sa domestic, kailangan natin i-partner ang local government units before we could really say that ok malinis na ang Pasig River,” Caancan said.
Caancan further noted that clean-up operations at the Pasig River happens on an everyday basis through the joint efforts of the PRRC and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
“Tulong na lang talaga ng inter-agency like the LGUs (local government units) when it comes to solid waste. And when it comes to commercial establishments, it is the mandate of the DENR. Strengthen ang monitoring, enforcement ng environmental laws lalo na ang Clean Water Act ng DENR at EMB,” she said.
Meanwhile, Caancan also backed the transfer of the PRRC to the DENR especially with the ongoing rehabilitation of Manila Bay.
“Para sa opinion ko, it is a good move because very timely siya because of the Manila Bay rehabilitation, and Pasig River is one of the major river system draining to Manila Bay so napakaganda nun,” she said.
In early September, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, by authority of the President, signed Executive Order (EO) No. 90, which repealed EO 54 signed in 1999.
Under the new EO, 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. /muf
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