Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary and Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) Chairperson Roy A. Cimatu has vowed to get rid of all illegally- berthed vessels in the Pasig River.
“Marami akong nakita dyan na naka-parking na mga vessels. Aalisin natin lahat ‘yan. [I’ve seen a lot of parked vessels there. We will get rid of all of them.] The Pasig River is not for parking,” he said when he visited the PRRC head office on Tuesday, September 10, to discuss his agenda for PRRC under the new chairmanship.
In his message, Cimatu cited the reason for his disapproval of the unauthorized docking of ships in the river: “Yung mga nagpa-parking dyan, dyan na rin sila natutulog, dyan na rin sila dumudumi.” [The ones who park there also sleep there and do their business there.]
Cimatu said he has sought the guidance of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), the government agency which exercises jurisdiction of all vessels, shipping lines, and similar enterprises in the country’s maritime industry. “Nagtanong ako sa MARINA kung may karapatan ang mga ito na magparking diyan, they don’t have any authority,” he stated. [I asked the MARINA if they have the right to park there.]
The environment chief admits that the increasing number of vessels in the river has been an “eyesore.” “’Di nila pwede parking-an ‘yang Pasig River. [They can’t park in the Pasig River.] That is supposed to be the cleanest river. That will be our first operation,” he added.
Cimatu also made clear that it is okay for vessels to be anchored on the river during inclement weather such as typhoons. But once the Pasig River’s condition is normal, it is time for the vessels to go back to their designated harbors.
The meeting marks Cimatu’s first visit to the PRRC since President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed Executive Order No. 90, which transferred the chairmanship of the Commission’s board to the DENR. The changes were perceived as timely in the integration of the national government’s rehabilitation efforts for the Pasig River and Manila Bay.
The PRRC believes that the leadership of Cimatu will bring forth further success in the restoration and management efforts for the Pasig River and its environs.