MANILA, Philippines – The Pasig River was once considered biologically dead. Now, it has bagged an international award, and the government says it's worthy of Instagram posts.
The Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) won on Tuesday, October 16, the first Asia RiverPrize Award, handed by the International River Foundation (IRF) to recognize successful efforts to revitalize waterways.
The awarding was held in Sydney, Australia.
"Ito na 'yung bunga ng ating puso para sa Ilog Pasig kaya ituloy-tuloy lang natin ang ating mga programa," said PRRC Executive Director Jose Antonio Goitia.
(This is the fruit of our love for the Pasig River. Let us continue our programs.)
The Pasig River beat China's Yangtze River for the award.
The IRF stressed how the PRRC successfully revived the Pasig River, which was declared biologically dead in the '90s due to rapid urbanization.
"PRRC and its partners' river restoration and management efforts have effectively brought the Pasig River back to life. These efforts have included delivering quality projects, programs, activities, and advocacies in easement recovery, riverbank development, waste and water quality management, and public awareness," the IRF said.
The IRF also lauded the PRRC for the relocation of over 18,000 families living along waterways and removing almost 22 million kilos of solid waste from 1999 to 2017.
The rehabilitation of the river started in 1999 with the creation of the PRRC.