Sunday, July 11, 2010

Kapit Bisig Para Sa Ilog Pasig takes on Estero de San Miguel in Malacañang

A week after the new administration stepped in, Kapit Bisig Para Sa Ilog Pasig (KBPIP) decided to embark on the rehabilitation of a tributary just a few meters behind Malacañang—the two-kilometer Estero de San Miguel.

Estero de San Miguel is one of the 48 tributaries that drains directly into the Pasig River and contributes to its pollution.

KBPIP recently celebrated its first anniversary with a boat ride along another Pasig River tributary, the Estero de Paco, a three-kilometer stretch of creek. This was the first time it was done and it showcased the recent success of KBPIP on the tributary—relocation of the informal settlers, riprapping of the easement along the estero, and dredging.

“Look at what we did in Estero de Paco,” said ABS-CBN Foundation Managing Director and KBPIP Project Director Gina Lopez. “Now we want to replicate it in all the various areas. You can't clean the river if you don't clean what goes into it.”

“So the game plan is that we have to rehabilitate the tributaries first—the esteros—before we move on to the Pasig River,” Lopez further explained.

To raise funds and create awareness on its seven-year campaign to clean the Pasig River, KBPIP organized a marathon which had a turnout of 23,000 participants last November 2009 and which brought donors to KBPIP.

Believing another and a bigger event can further boost the cause, KBPIP is putting up a fun run called “Run for the Pasig River” slated on October 10, 2010 (10.10.10) with the expertise of race directors Eric Imperio, Rio dela Cruz, and Thumby Remigio.

“We always want to grow bigger. So on 10.10.10, we not only decided to put on a marathon, we have also decided to break the Guinness Book of Records by going for 120,000 registered participants! We’re flying in an adjudicator from Guinness, so they can record the event,” said Lopez.

Lopez is confident that the success of 10.10.10 fun run and the rehabilitation of Estero de San Miguel will be enough to get the support of President Aquino and the rest of the Filipino public.

“At the end of the day, Pasig River is not my river,” Lopez further said. “It’s everyone's river, it's everyone's responsibility. And if everyone feels the same way and takes it on and has a keen sentiment, then there is no way, no way, that that river will not be cleaned,” Lopez ended

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