To clean the polluted waters of Pasig River means that the waterway will have to undergo a “dialysis.”
The Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) plans to do that by installing a filtering system to clean up water from Metro Manila’s esteros and tributaries.
Gina Lopez, PRRC president, said the technology will make the water clean before it flows out to the river.
“It is a sort of dialysis of Pasig River. We want to replace its dirty water with clean, crystal clear one. We want to dump clean water into the river,” she said.
Lopez said the filter machine will be installed in major esteros that lead directly to Pasig River.
The commission’s long-term plans include planting mangroves along the river’s banks, she said.
Lopez came up with the idea after touring the stretch of river from Guadalupe in Makati City to Pinagbuhatan in Pasig City during the launch of Pasig’s ferry system on Monday.
She admitted the rehabilitation of the river still has a long way to go.
“Because of pollution, the murky water of the Pasig River is still unable to sustain neither marine life nor be a safe swimming spot,” she said.
Many of the passengers, who took advantage of the free ride, were dismayed by the foul smell from the polluted river.
Lopez said the PRRC is just beginning the clean-up of the main part of the river this year, noting that in the previous years, it concentrated in clearing the estuaries flowing into the 25-kilometer-long waterway.
“There are 48 esteros. This year we will also clean up 16 esteros that directly flow into the Pasig River,” she said.
Rehabilitation efforts would be futile “if we will not focus on the esteros,” she added.
RITCHIE A. HORARIO