SPM’s Chair, Severino Galindo urged the electorate to strongly consider the river rehabilitation agenda in choosing candidates in the barangay election.
The Eco Sustainability Institute has been requested by the Sagip Pasig Movement (SPM) to assist in the documentation of the nationwide multi-stakeholder consultations covering the 20 main river basins as part of the 2nd National Rivers Summit. This documentation support is primarily focused on drawing out the recommendations for elements of a national river basin legislation. The summit will be held in March 14 while the island-region Round Table Discussion (RTDs) will be held on February 21 for Visayas in Cebu City, February 24 for Mindanao in Cagayan de Oro City and February 28 for Luzon & NCR in Manila.
By Bike Catibog
2009 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee Ma Jun visited Pasig River and observed how efforts on its restoration is being undertaken by different institutions. Hosted by the Sagip Pasig Movement (SPM) in paretnership with the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC). Unilever Philippines, Inc and the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), Ma Jun got a glimpse of how the government, NGOs, river-based industries and academic institutions work together in making Pasig River back to like.
Starting at the Unilever Philippines compound, Ma Jun was presented with Unilever’s corporate activities that do not pollute. SPM Executive Director Meth Jimenez said, “We undertake public disclosure to warn river-based industries on polluting the River. While we give mock awards “Lason Sa Pasig” to polluting companies, we gave Unilever the “Dangal Ng Pasig” for its effective waste treatment management.” SPM also acknowledged the presence of Jollibee Food Corporation Corporate Affairs Manager Carina Agarao, GMA Special Assistant to the President Rod Cornejo, and DOJ Asst. Solicitor General Karl Miranda.
Ma Jun also met with the members of the Estero-based communities organized by the SPM, and shared to him their projects on household waste processing, skills-building and public information drives. They said that they now realized how important the waterway is so they must help work for its protection.
He was also treated to a Ferry Tour along Pasig River, starting at the Plaza Mexico Terminal in Intramuros and finally docking at the PUP compound. He saw the linear parks along the river banks which are all being managed by the PRRC. However, he said that the murky waters had to be immediately addressed.
At PUP, Ma Jun met with Dr. Pastor Malaborbor, VP for Research and Development of the PUP. Then, he met the first batch of 100 Shell Green Scholars, which is the first environment-based scholarship program in the country. Presently, their main concern is to be the “River Ambassadors” who will promote the restoration and conservation of the Pasig River. Ma Jun hailed this innovative move, as countries need more environment-conscious citizenry.
“The Philippines is doing bold and unique moves in river conservation. As I also worked extensively in public information and advocacy in addressing water pollution crisis in China, I’m happy to know that we share the same dream - to see our country with clean waterways again.”
He thanked the Ramon Magsaysay Foundation for giving him the recognition, so he can share to the world how the power of information can move even mountains in addressing difficult issues like water pollution. As industrialization and modernization bring environmental problems, he challenged everyone to work for its protection for the future generation.