A task force has been formed in a bid to clear the pervasive presence of water hyacinths along the Pasig River.
Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) Executive Director Jose Antonio Goitia ordered the formation of Task Force Water Hyacinth (TFWH), noting that the build-up of water hyacinths in the river has been hampering river transport.
“We understand the inconvenience these water hyacinths are causing in river transport. Rest assured that we, your public servants from the PRRC, are exercising due diligence to intensify our clean-up operations along the
Pasig River and its tributaries in coordination with our partner agencies,” he said in a statement.
Goitia noted, “In order to address the uncontrollable proliferation of water hyacinths along the Pasig River in the past days, we established Task Force Water Hyacinth which aims to abate the further spread and flow of the said aquatic plant.”
However, he cited that certain benefits can be derived from water hyacinths, which could even be used in income-generating projects.
“On the other hand, we also see water hyacinths as a blessing from the environment. According to scientific studies, they help absorb pollution in the waters. Furthermore, we convert water hyacinths as raw materials for our livelihood programs such as for water hyacinth handloom weaving which are used in the production of bags, slippers and other handicrafts with water hyacinth component,” Goitia said.
Explaining the spread of water hyacinths in the Pasig River, he said, “The spread of water hyacinths is a natural phenomenon brought about by the rainy season. Technically speaking, the water hyacinths continue to grow due to the high level of nutrients in the water coming from aquaculture farming areas as well as from the creeks or esteros draining domestic waste to the Pasig River.”
He underlined that the PRRC has always been at the forefront of implementing waste and water quality rehabilitation and management programs that aim to improve the Pasig River System with the help of partner agencies in the national government, local government, non-government organizations, and the private sector.