Goldberg urges Filipinos: Do your part in Pasig River rehab
Video by Noy Morcoso/INQUIRER.net
US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg asked Filipinos to work collectively in order to rehabilitate the Pasig River, the main waterway that crosses Metropolitan Manila.
In a clean-up drive led by the US Embassy in cooperation with ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation at Estero de Pandacan in Manila on Tuesday, Goldberg said that citizens living near the polluted waterways should understand the economic and environmental repercussions of dumping household waste.
“This is a huge effort. As you can see, the waterways that feed into the Pasig River are used basically as garbage dumps,” Goldberg said in an interview.
“It really is something that people need to understand, the environmental damage it (has) done, the economic damage it (has) done, all of the things that need to be corrected. That is why we need to do our part too.”
He said that Filipinos need to realize that the huge amount of nonbiodegradable materials dumped to esteros feed to the Pasig River and subsequently flow to the Manila Bay.
“There is huge amount of plastics and other kinds of nonbiodegradable materials in the waters so we all have to do something about it and work collectively,” he added.
Goldberg said that the US has contributed more than $46 million in biodiversity and environmental initiatives in the country.
He also emphasized that in a wider perspective, the US is also one with the country in combatting climate change.
“In a larger sense, we have worked with the Philippines and countries around the world to deal with climate change,” he said.
Goldberg recalled that with the effects of environmental degradation, issues concerning the environment have taken a key space on the world stage.
“I would say as 15, 20, 25 years ago, during my career, environmental issues were not as front and center as they are now,” he said.
“But we realized that the Earth is in danger from the effects of environmental degradation. And as a world, we have to come together to save the Earth.”
The cleanup drive is part of the program called Earth Jam 2015, one of the buildup programs of the US Embassy for 2015 Earth Day. Youth volunteers, community leaders and US Embassy staff also joined the initiative.
A concert was held after the cleanup, featuring “The Voice of the Philippines” season one winner Mitoy Rentoy, “Pilipinas Got Talent” winner Jovit Baldivino, rock band Razorback and former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Tahl. RC
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