The rehabilitation of the Philippines’ Pasig River emerged victorious in an international competition which recognizes the successful efforts to revitalize waterways. The 27-kilometer Pasig River received first Asia RiverPrize Awards. Officials from the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC), led by its Executive Director Jose Antonio Goitia, received the recognition during the 21st International River symposium held in Sydney, Australia last October. PRRC successfully revived the Pasig River, declared biologically dead in the ’90s due to persistent pollution.
The river’s dismal state was supposedly caused by population growth and industrial development along its riverbanks. “PRRC and its partners’ river restoration and management efforts have effectively brought the Pasig River back to life. These efforts have included delivering quality projects, programs, activities, and advocacies in easement recovery, riverbank development, waste and water quality management, and public awareness,” the award-giving body said.
It lauded PRRC for its successful relocation of thousands of families living along the riverbanks to decent homes, adding that hundreds of private structures encroaching the river have been dismantled. It also said PRRC was able
to divert almost 22,000 kilograms of solid waste from 1999 to 2017.
“This has resulted in significant water quality improvement, as well as the revitalization and development of the Pasig River system,” IRF said. PRRC said the win will help them receive widespread global recognition, which can help open doors for international support. It said this will also qualify Pasig River for State 2 of the Theiss International Riverprize in 2019.