President Rodrigo Duterte said he will dissolve the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) and place its function instead under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
In a speech on Tuesday, Duterte made known his plan as he expressed doubts that the Pasig River can ever be cleaned.
“Kaya itong commission sa Pasig, tanggalin ko na ito, place it under General Cimatu sa DENR,” Duterte said during the oath-taking of newly-appointed officials in Malacanang.
This comes exactly a week after Duterte fired PRRC head Jose Antonio E. Goitia over allegations of graft and corruption.
Duterte then said he fired Goitia for spreading word about his supposed appointment as Bureau of Customs collector and then asking money from the people within the agency.
Goitia was appointed by Duterte to lead the agency tasked to clean and transform the Pasig River in February 2017.
In June, Goitia already denied any involvement in allegations that PRRC failed to implement significant projects to rehabilitate Pasig River despite its P107 million budget last year.
Goitia then said he will never tolerate graft and corrupt practices in the PRRC, and claimed allegations against him are baseless and false.
On August 28, Duterte also signed Executive Order No. 90 transferring the chairmanship of PRRC from the Department of Budget and Management to the DENR.
Formed by virtue of an EO signed by former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada on January 6, 1999, the PRRC is primarily tasked to implement programs and projects aimed at reviving the polluted Pasig River.
The river connects the Laguna de Bay, the country’s largest freshwater lake and the Manila Bay, which is currently undergoing massive rehabilitation by a special task force headed by the DENR.