Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Pasig River rehab goes in full swing

Manila Bulletin

Metro Manila residents can look forward to an early rehabilitation of the Pasig River as the dredging project continues 24 hours a day and seven days a week, Environment Secretary Jose L. Atienza, Jr. said.

Atienza, chairman of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC), issued the statement after the Philippine Coast Guard reported on Wednesday that a private contractor of the river rehabilitation project dug up a 65-year-old battle tank off the South Harbor.

Commander Armand Balilo, Coast Guard spokesperson, said personnel of Kwan Sing Construction Corp. accidentally recovered the Sherman M4-A1 tank while dredging near the breakwater in Baseco Compound, Tondo early Saturday.

According to Balilo, the tank was commonly used by the US military during World War II. When they checked, they found several bullets for Garand rifles inside the tank.

“This only means that dredging the Pasig River to regain its pristine condition is being done without letup. With the help of Baggwerwerken Decloedt N.V. Philippines, we assure everyone that we could revive the waterway as early as possible,” said architect Deogracias Tablan Jr., PRRC executive director.

Earlier, the dredgers and sea marshals also found old cannon shells, which were turned over to the PCG Special Operations Group in Parola, Tondo, Manila.

In terms of modern technology and expertise, he said, they have no doubt that the goal of rehabilitating the Pasig River will be attained soon.

Tablan clarified that the Pasig River dredging project is not a Kapit Bisig para sa Ilog Pasig but a priority project of the national government under the DENR thru the PRRC, correcting earlier reports aired in a radio station.

The PRRC executive director also said that through an aggressive information campaign, the people’s negative views on the Pasig River could be reversed “because there is still hope to revive it and bacause support for the river’s preservation has started pouring in.”

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