Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Saving Ilog Pasig

In its 9th year, World Bazaar Festival will give the gift of Pasig River rehabilitation to Filipinos via an initiative called Kapit Bisig sa Ilog Pasig. The project which aims to rehabilitate the moribund 17-kilometer river system, top-bills a partnership between Worldbex Services International and ABS-CBN Network.

“It’s no exaggeration to say that World Bazaar is a place where Filipinos can get the best gifts for their family and friends. And this is why it’s considered as the grandest and most attended of all Christmas bazaars,” notes Joseph Ang, Founding Chairman of Worldbex Services International. “But this year, we’ve decided to give something back—now we’re the ones giving Filipinos a gift for Christmas.”

Part of the proceeds and net of costs of this year’s World Bazaar Festival will go Kapit Bisig sa Ilog Pasig. So from December 4-16 at the World Trade Center Manila, participants in the largest Christmas bazaar in the country will not only get the best holiday finds with the over 600,000 booths,  they’ll also get the chance to help clean the Pasig River.

 “ Full rehabilitation of the Pasig River is a tall order but we have to start somewhere. One can can always look to the experience of the Seine, Thames, Hudson and Danube waterways,” says Ang. He notes how these also went through a long and tedious process of resuscitation before becoming the ‘grand rivers’ they are today. “I’m very confident that there’s hope for the Pasig River yet.”
Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig is the most comprehensive and ambitious effort to clean Pasig River to date. It has charted a seven-year campaign to tackle pollution, help relocate informal settlers, provide livelihood opportunities and launch a major information campaign. 

They also envision the implementation of a 10-meter easement to pave the way for the execution of its projects. The plan has identified vacant lots and blighted areas which, when cleared, are prime sites for urban renewal projects. There willalso be 10 parks along the 27-km stretch of the Pasig , four more bridges, a ferry system and parallel modes of transportation.

“Pasig River restored, no, elevated to what Kapit Bisig sa Ilog Pasig initiative envision it to become is a sight to see,” says Ang. “And with the success of this project, we can proudly say we not only give Filipinos a place to source the best Christmas gifts, we also give them one of the most relevant gifts that they can ever receive.

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