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Home Columns Reinventing the Philippines RX for the Pasig River and Other Philippine Waterways (As Updated)
RX for the Pasig River and Other Philippine Waterways (As Updated) PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Reinventing the Philippines
Friday, 25 January 2008 09:01

Guest Columnist Nathanael John Duenas

The Political Will has to be manifested by solid action in terms of creating a responsible agency exclusively for the river development such as the Pasig River Redevelopment Authority backed by a law in Redevelopment Program where the national government contribute a percentage ratio with Local Government(s) and a full control over real-estate acquisition, settlement relocation, mitigations, initiatives and incentives for development partners to generate the needed socio-economic stimulus for private investors contributing in the development. The Redevelopment Authority will have the powers to exercise 'eminent domain', land banking for community open space and recreation use with sponsorship of financial institutions and grants.


The composition of a suggested Pasig River Redevelopment Authority (PRRA) must include all the existing business and land owners alongside the Pasig River and its tributaries. The Clients of the Redevelopment Project will be the National government and all the local governments within the river and its tributaries. Since the PRRA is recipient of 'public fund contribution', the authority shall be subject to congressional oversight and audit compliance aside from its accountability to private donors and sponsors.

The major motivating factor for all the PRRA (business and land owners) is to realize development brings about appreciation of their holdings after generating a wholesome environment and a progressive and clean community.

The defined Project Area will be consolidated into major phases of development incorporating major infrastructures to include public access to the riverbanks, flood control measures, sewage and sewerage, etc, etc. the whole Project Areas can be temporarily fenced and secured until such time that law enforcement and public safety are in place to interlink with the rest of the Phase development projects. The whole redevelopment program will be consisting of various specific projects with projected results to enhance land utilization, business and entrepreneurship enticements, job opportunities, and other community amenities and opportunities.

The last phase of the Redevelopment program will be the revitalization and ecosystem improvement of the river and all tributary waterways. City Ordinances on disposal of waste in waterways, sidewalk gutters, and storm drainage shall be closely monitored for infiltration and intrusion into the Project areas.

The New communities alongside the Pasig River can then be connected with River Ferries, Tourism-related transport and the business barges under strict monitoring-and-regulatory compliance on environmental concerns.

Water-catchment areas and Wetland Sanctuaries can be readily maintained and sustained as special projects for parks, water management and recreation with adequate funding from corporate sponsors.

Since a greater volume of water source emanates from Laguna de Bay and surface run-off of surrounding areas, the PRRA in collaboration with the Laguna Lake Development Authority and Local governments can launch an education program in all levels of schools on the benefits of future generations on the value of a well-managed waterways and water sources.

Annual school programs on environment, the ecosystem and the Waterways awareness can be undertaken on specific projects at various community levels such as waste disposal, water quality, aquatic resources and the historic tours alongside the waterways of Metro Manila.

Tourism revenue of River tours—including architectural, cultural, and historic revenues—from other major developed cities and metropolis like Chicago, Portland, San Francisco, New York, Paris, London and the breathtaking River tour of the Danube from the Black Sea to Holland are major examples of what Marikina and the leadership of Bayani Fernando can change a gloomy picture into a vista of inspiration for the next generations.

We need to take steps in the right direction and learn from the experiences of other civilizations. The examples and proof of the success of such a project are evident worldwide. Bangkok is working towards a similar undertaking and hopefully with a 'political will' of the people within the Pasig River, we can replicate the experience in other Philippine waterways like Davao, Iloilo, Naga, Dagupan, etc.

Policy Incentives can be creative to encourage Pasig River landowners and business to form a coalition and make their concerns and interest on the table and to the road of progress.
   

Editor’s Notes: Mr. Duenas was reacting to a post in the Botomo@yahoogroups.com made by Alfred Alexander Marasigan (AKA Flipzi), who wrote: The Pasig River as well as the other rivers can recover when the proper sewerage-treatment facilities have been put in place across the metropolitan area.




Y ou cannot simply clean up Pasig River by collecting garbage that is thrown into the river.

The main source of pollution is the inflow of untreated sewage from the city's sewerage systems (and flood-control networks).

It is about time we control the inflow of untreated waters from the sewers into our river systems. The setting up of wastewater-treatment facilities across Metro Manila is necessary.

We should also relocate all informal settlers who have encroached and set up homes along the river banks, creeks, flood control systems and other major canals.

We should as well implement a more concrete measure in addressing the still unabated improper disposal of solid waste by irresponsible citizens.

Get these three problems addressed full and there will be a great chance that the Pasig River, as well as the rest, will recover.

Flood-control systems should not function as if it's part of the sewerage system.

Pasig River, which complements the flood control systems, should not be treated as if it's just a part of our sewerage network.

To put it clear, only cleaned or "treated" waters from our sewerage treatment facilities should be allowed to flow into our river systems, lakes and the surrounding bay.

Dredging our rivers to remove obstacles like sunken vessels and as well as trash and silt that have accumulated at the bottom may even help speed up the recovery.

Singapore and China did it. Why can’t we?

It’s all starts from a political will nevertheless.

Other web sites as references:

http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/ManilaBayTidalBasin/


http://blogs.inquirer.net/talesofthenomad/2008/01/23/ivdo-fishing-and-maybe-taking-a-dip-in-pasig-river/#comment-8046

* * * * *

Flipzi Reveals His Identity, as Online Dialogue on the “Rx for Pasig River” Continues 

F
inally, the identity of Flipzi is known. He is probably one of the most-active participants in the Filipino Internet World with so many commentaries day in, day out. And good and substantive postings at that, especially in the Botomo@yahoogroups.com. His name is Alfred Alexander Marasigan of Manila, Philippines

Here is Flipzi’s, oops, Alfred’s latest posting on the Rx for saving the Pasig River: QUOTE. The lack of genuine desire on the part of the government to really revive the (Pasig) river could indeed be the main reason.

Nonetheless, let's not succumb to the negative perception or the obvious disposition of those who wield control over this (topic).

With the help of the media, the NGOs and the Church, we can all join our efforts in compelling the government to support this project.

We can use the cost-benefit analysis (if there's any) as leverage in pursuing this project.

The rehabilitation of the Pasig River will surely open up other business opportunities directly related to or as a result of the successful rehabilitation of the river.

From water sports or recreation to real estate to transportation, the economic benefit is broad.

Alfred was replying to Nathanael John Duenas, whom I dubbed the Internet’s Filipino-American pundit:

Here is what Pundit Nat said:  

QUOTE. Flipzi, The President of the Philippines is a resident of the Pasig River and had the Malacanyang (sic) 'Palace' was properly master planned, it could have been similar to the Imperial Palace in Japan where the whole compound could have been surrounded by a 'moat' diversion of the Pasig River.

The PRRC was created by a Presidential Executive Order as a 'commission' of selected-and-favored officials, friends and loyalist to the President. The landowners and businesses alongside the Pasig River were never a major part of the decision-making process. The numerous governmental agencies involved in the 'rehabilitation' project were concerned more in meeting the UN water quality and environmental standards and criteria for funding. FVR's program ended upon his tenure.  

GMA's propaganda of a Pasig River Ferry Service and the continuance of a PRRC is a medium to accept donations, grants and funding. No one is interested on the concerns of the landowners, businesses and settlers – no 'commission', no kickback, nothing to enrich the 'people in-charge'. The jurisdiction falls under the Metro Manila Development Authority, which is overburdened with more pressing problems of traffic and mundane problems of sanitation and cleanliness, solid waste, flooding, etc.

The Office of the President has to deal with 'national interest priorities'. The Pasig River program is a good photo-ops or excellent political campaign propaganda.

There is no Master Plan for a Pasig Riverside Development for developers and investors to serious get involved. The cost benefit of a clean water of the river rehabilitation does not make economic sense. 

Nat. UNQUOTE.

Flipzi wrote: Mr. Reyes:

I’ve read the post awhile ago. Mr. Duenas was about the creation of the sole agency drafting (or) overseeing the implementation of solutions to reviving the river.

There's the said agency already in fact. Sadly, it lost its momentum for some reasons.

The agency alone is not enough.

It requires the full support of the President since she has the needed power and control of the resources needed to make this project work.

Also, the cooperation of local officials, especially those covering the relocation sites for the evicted settlers, is crucial as well.

To cut it short, the agency is already there. The solutions have been identified long before.

What's missing is the President's hands-on approach or an equal treatment to the agency and the project itself.

Next is the full cooperation of the local officials concerned.

As for the money, it can be easily allocated. The President has her own funds to tap.

Plus the ADB is right there, just waiting for a convincing effort and initiative on the part of the government.

MEDIABCLA@aol.com wrote: In a message dated
1/25/2008 11:20:02 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, natduenas@yahoo.com writes:

Flipzi,

The Political Will has to be manifested by solid action in terms of creating a responsible agency exclusively for the river development such as the (a) Pasig River Redevelopment Authority backed by a law in Redevelopment Program where the national government contribute a percentage ratio with Local Government(s) and a full control over real estate acquisition, settlement relocation, mitigations, initiatives and incentives for development partners to generate the needed socio-economic stimulus for private investors contributing in the development. The Redevelopment Authority will have the powers to exercise 'eminent domain', land banking for community open space and recreation use with sponsorship of financial institutions and grants. <>  

Dear Nat and Flipzi:

We took the initiative of publishing your dialogue about the said topic that we titled, RX for the Pasig River and Other Philippine Waterways

We will publish the other comments about the topic, as posted by Botomites.

Thank you for your contribution,

Mabuhay,

Bobby M. Reyes
Editor
www.mabuhayradio.com



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Last Updated on Thursday, 22 October 2009 11:16
 

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