By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte has urged Congress to abolish the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission since the polluted river is unlikely to be cleaned.
The President said the government was paying people “for nothing,” admitting that they could not do anything to clean up Pasig River.
“If Congress is listening, abolish ninyo ‘yan. There is nothing to clean in the Pasig River. It’s already clean. That’s the state of the art of Pasig,” he said during the oath-taking of new government officials at the Palace.
“Unless we require every building not only along the river but everybody who has a waste to dump in a sewage or sewerage, walang mangyayari (nothing will happen). You’re wasting time. You’re paying people for nothing. They cannot do anything,” he said.
Duterte instead proposed that the funds allocated to the Pasig River commission should be used to purchase food and medicine for the people.
“So yung Congress, yung pera buti pa pambili mo ng bigas o medisina. Dagdag mo na lang. Maraming opisina na inutile [Congress should allocate the funds to buy rice or medicine. Add these funds. There are many inutile offices],” he added.
Last August, President Duterte issued Executive Order No. 90 transferring the PRRC chairmanship to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to ensure the efficient supervision on the rehabilitation of the major waterways.
The Pasig River commission chairmanship was previously held by the Department of Budget and Management.
A month later, Duterte terminated the appointment of Jose Antonio Goitia as PRRC executive director amid corruption allegations. He had claimed that Goitia was spreading word about his supposed imminent appointment to the Bureau of Customs as well as asking money from people dealing with the Pasig River commission.