Dirty Pasig River needs ‘dialysis’

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The dirty and malodorous Pasig River needs a ‘dialysis,’ the commission in charge of its rehabilitation said.

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The Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) is considering a technology that will filter waters from Metro Manila esteros and tributaries of the river.

PRRC president Gina Lopez explained that the filter will turn the dirty water ‘crystal clear’ before dumping it to the Pasig.

“It is a sort of dialysis of the Pasig River,” she said.

Lopez said the filters will be installed in major esteros that directly lead to the Pasig.

In addition, she said, they are planning to plant mangroves along the river’s shoreline.

Lopez joined a tour of the Pasig from Guadalupe in Makati to Pinagbuhatan in Pasig City during the launch of the Pasig River ferry system on Monday.

During the ride, Lopez observed that the river was “stinky” and “very dirty” and that their rehabilitation efforts have still a long way to go.

“Because of pollution, the Pasig River is unable to sustain marine life and cannot be a safe swimming spot,” she said.

Many of the passengers who availed of the free ferry ride noted the foul smell.

Lopez stressed that the PRRC just started the cleanup of the main part of the river this year. In the past years, they concentrated on clearing the estuaries flowing into the 25-kilometer-long body of water.

“There are 48 esteros. This year we will clean up 16 esteros that directly flow into the Pasig River,” she said.

She said rehabilitation efforts would be futile “if we will not focus on the esteros.”

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