06 Sep Gregorio Garcia
Gregorio Garcia, Philippines
PASIG RIVER REHABILITATION COMMISSION
The Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) is a government agency under the Office of the President created in January 1999 by virtue of Executive order No. 54, as amended by Executive order No. 65, to ensure that the Pasig River System is rehabilitated to its historically pristine condition conducive for aquatic life and resources as well as transport recreation and tourism.
Main Presenter: Mr. George Oliver G. De La Rama
Position: Head, PRRC Public Information, Advocacy and Tourism Division
Background: De La Rama joined PRRC in March 2016. He is a graduate of AB Journalism from the University of Santo Tomas, Manila and took his Master of Arts in Communication at the Ateneo de Manila University.
He is a participant in the 19th International RiverSymposium held in New Delhi, India in 2016 where PRRC was one of the panelists in the breakout session.
Presentation Title: CONVERGENCE: THE KEY TO SUCCESSFUL RIVER RESTORATION AND MANAGEMENT (CASE OF THE PASIG RIVER, PHILIPPINES)
Rivers are the lifeline of nations. In history, many great civilizations were rooted in rivers such as the Tigris and Euphrates in Mesapotamia, the Nile in Egypt, the Indus of South Asia, and the Yellow River of China – among others. In recent years, several rivers around the world have been suffering from degradation caused by rapid global urbanization, technological increase, and population expansion. Thus, we are all in an uphill battle now of restoring our rivers back into their historical glory. In the Philippine setting, the 27-kilometer Pasig River lies at the heart of the country’s capital Metro Manila. It serves as the only outlet draining excess waters from major bodies of water. In the years before, the Pasig River was compared to the Grand Canal of Venice as it served as center of commerce and transportation. However, migration, combined with overpopulation and industrial development, resulted its gradual decay until it was declared biologically dead in the 1990s. Hence, in 1999, the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) was created by the Philippine Government to ensure that the Pasig River System is rehabilitated to its historically pristine condition conducive for aquatic life and resources as well as recreation, transport, and tourism. However, river restoration is a tedious process. As a coordinating agency, PRRC converges with its stakeholders to implement its programs, projects, and advocacies. Convergence allows PRRC to share knowledge, exchange best practices and utilize common resources with its partners. Working on a common goal, PRRC, with the help of its partners, was able to recover easements encroached by informal settlers and private structures, develop 16 of the 47 priority projects into environmental preservation areas, introduce water improvement technologies, promote advocacies through information, education and communication campaigns and engage the community for the continual rehabilitation of the Pasig River System.