President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has issued Executive Order (EO) 35, establishing the “Inter-Agency Council for the Pasig River Urban Development” as part of the administration’s response to the urgent need to rehabilitate and enhance the quality of life along the banks of the Pasig River.
A four-page EO, issued last July 25 and signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, stated that the council would be responsible in facilitating and ensuring the full rehabilitation of the banks along the Pasig River water system and nearby water systems.
The inter-agency council will be chaired by the Secretary of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), vice-chaired by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman, with 13 member-agencies such as the Departments of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Interior and Local Government (DILG), Tourism, (DOT), Transportation (DOTr), Finance (DOF), Budget and Management (DBM), National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), National Commission on Culture and Arts (NCCA), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), and Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprises Authority (TIEZA).
Aside from facilitating and ensuring the full rehabilitation of the Pasig River, the council is also tasked with formulating a Pasig River Urban Development Plan and implementing a coordinated and integrated rehabilitation of the Pasig Riverbanks system and nearby water systems.
It is also tasked with ensuring that easements provided under RA 386 (Civil Code of the Philippines) and other relevant laws are followed; study, prepare, and implement a comprehensive shelter plan for the relocation of informal settlers; and, accept grants or any assistance from local and foreign sources subject to existing laws, rules, and regulations.
The council is also directed to work closely with the national government agencies and local government units to review the existing presidential issuances related to the rehabilitation and development of the Pasig River and recommend to the Office of the President the repeal or amendment of the same.
The council is also directed to submit a quarterly report on the implementation of the EO.
According to the EO, the Pasig River holds immense historical and cultural significance as a vital waterway that facilitates trade, transportation, and communication and serves as a prominent landmark and tourist attraction.
“There is an urgent need to rehabilitate and enhance the quality of life along the banks of the Pasig River, its tributaries, and surrounding communities,” the EO read.
The EO added the convergence of concerned national government agencies is necessary to synchronize and strengthen inter-agency efforts to accelerate the implementation of policies, programs, and projects that aim to improve water quality, restore marine life, and develop the banks of the Pasig River, its tributaries, and surrounding communities.
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