Business leaders unite to revive Pasig River
By Faizza Farinna Tanggol, The Philippine Star, July 19, 2009
MANILA, Philippines – Business tycoons managed to find time from their busy schedules last July 13 to help lead the effort to save Pasig River.
Ayala Corp. president and chief operating officer Fernando Zobel, San Miguel Corp. president and COO Ramon Ang, Aboitiz Transport System president and chief executive officer Endika Aboitiz, ABS-CBN president and COO Charo Santos-Concio, SM Investments vice chairman Tessie Coson-Sy represented by SM Foundation executive director Debbie Sy, Philippine Daily Inquirer president and CEO Sandy Prieto-Romualdez, Philippine STAR editor-in-chief Isaac Belmonte, Globe Asiatique president Delfin Lee, Herma Group of Co. president and CEO Hermie Esguerra, Manila Water president Rene Almendraz, and Maynilad president Babes Singson formed the Advisory Board of Kapit Bisig para sa Ilog Pasig, the newest project of ABS-CBN Foundation in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources through the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) that aims to rehabilitate the Pasig River and its tributaries.
Kapit Bisig para sa Ilog Pasig (KBPIP) has focused its efforts on Estero de Paco this year.
“Cleaning of Estero de Paco is very important,” said Gina Lopez, managing director of ABS-CBN Foundation. “If we do it in Paco, we will show it can be done. That success will snowball and pave the way for other possibilities.”
The KBPIP has declared the whole 2.9-kilometer stretch of Estero de Paco as a Clean River Zone.
The KBPIP has already begun the voluntary relocation of the informal settlers living along the banks of Estero de Paco. The families have been moved to “Bayanijuan sa Calauan,” the official resettlement site of KBPIP in Laguna.
The National Housing Authority and ABS-CBN Foundation signed a memorandum of agreement to co-manage the 107-hectare Calauan site.
“I am glad that ABS-CBN Foundation has invaluable partners,” declared Lopez. “Working together really renders significant results. This meeting is really about presenting the Pasig project to the Board and have everyone own it so it will really be a kapit-bisig project.”
The meeting was held at Rockwell in Makati City.
The Philippine STAR has also shown unswerving support for the Pasig River project. Lopez has her monthly column in The STAR where she writes about Pasig River from time to time.
More than that, however, The STAR is linking arms with the KBPIP by providing constant media coverage for its activities and achievements.
“The role of media is key in raising the consciousness of people, in awakening hope,” said Lopez. “With such strong backing from the private sector and media, I have no doubt that we will be able to clean this river.”
* * *
Find out how you can help. Call the KBPIP at its Bayan hotlines 410-2753 to 55 or e-mail at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Contribute to Piso Para sa Ilog Pasig by texting GIVE ILOG then send it to 2366 for Globe, TM, Smart, Talk ‘N Text, and Sun Cellular. You may also deposit directly at its BDO account number 393-0078222, Scout Albano branch.