First Couple’s full commitment inspires Pasig River rehab council

President Marcos and First Lady Marie Louise Araneta-Marcos’ all-out support to the Pasig River rehabilitation project—dubbed Pasig Bigyang Buhay Muli (PBBM)—inspires the inter-agency council members spearheading the urban development program.

Thus said Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar, who also chairs the Inter-Agency Council for the Pasig River Urban Development (IAC-PRUD) that is leading the project. 

This ambitious project aims to maximize the potential of the waterway.

Acuzar stressed the vital role of private partners for the successful implementation of the master plan laid out by the IAC-PRUD.

“We already have the all-out support of the President and the First Lady. With the dedication of the council and financial help from donors in the private sector, we hope to transform the First Couple’s vision into reality–restore the beauty of the Pasig River and transform it into a prominent landmark for tourism and economic activity,” he said.

PEOPLE’S PARK. People from all walks of life and all ages troop to the newly-inaugurated showcase case area of the Pasig Bigyang Buhay Muli (PBBM) Project at the back of the Central Post Office in Manila over the weekend after its inauguration on Jan. 17. The showcase area, spanning almost 500 meters with walkpaths, bike lane and transition bridge accented by water fountains with lighting, was opened to the public after its inauguration last Wednesday led by President Marcos and First Lady Marie Louise Araneta-Marcos.

“Ang suportang ito ng First Couple at mga pledges galing sa private sector ay magsisilbing inspirasyon para sa lahat, lalo na ang council members, na magtulungan at magsama-sama upang ang mabigyan buhay muli ang Ilog Pasig,” he added.

On Wednesday, no less than the First Couple led the inauguration of the project’s showcase area at the back of the Central Post Office in Manila, attended also by big names in the private sector.

During the launching, the President vowed that the government would remain  fully committed to the project.

“Kagaya ng laging pinapaala sa akin ng ating butihing Kalihim ng DHSUD, go big or go home. So… you do not expect any half hearted commitments not from this President. In everything I do, I am all fully in,” Marcos said during his speech. 

President Marcos vowed that the rehabilitation of the 25-kilometer stretch of Pasig River, spearheaded by the Inter-Agency Council for the Pasig River Urban Development chaired by DHSUD Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar, will be “people centered.” Photos courtesy of DHSUD

The showcase area features a 500-meter public park with walkway and bike lanes accented by water fountain, landscaped pocket gardens and a transition bridge under the Jones Bridge highlighting the project’s unique concept of connectivity along the 25-kilometer stretch of the Pasig River from Manila Bay to Laguna de Bay.

“I will not be deterred from placing a big bet on this endeavor because the presidency is all about attaining the grand, and not wasting mandates on the petty,” added the President, assuring the public of his vow to sustain the initiative until its completion.

The President also cited the staunch devotion brought forth by the First Lady as an “in-house advocate” of Pasig River in the First Family.

First Lady Araneta-Marcos has earlier revealed her vision to revitalize the Pasig River into a commercial, lifestyle, tourism and culture hub, like the Thames in London and Seine in France.

To ensure that the targets for the PBBM project are strictly met, the President has instructed the concerned government agencies to submit quarterly and yearly progress reports.

Created pursuant to Executive Order 35 issued last July, the IAC-PRUD aims to address the urgent need to rehabilitate and enhance the quality of life along the banks of the Pasig River, its tributaries and surrounding communities.

For the affected informal settler families along the river, the DHSUD has already proposed two major housing projects with the Philippine Ports Authority in Manila and the Laguna Lake Development Authority at the Lupang Arenda in Rizal.