In a bid to multiply green spaces within Pasig City, the local government began on Friday, Aug. 12, the rehabilitation of the kilometer-long Pineda Linear Park in Barangay Pineda, in partnership with the Pasig River Coordinating and Management Office (PRCMO).
Present at the launch were Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto, lone Pasig Congressman Roman Romulo, Dr. Lloyd Bautista, deputy executive director of the PRCMO; Allendri Angeles from the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) and Solid Waste Management Office (SWMO), and Barangay Pineda Chairman Frankie de Leon.
The event was the product of the interagency collaboration and team effort of the local government, the PRCMO, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the CENRO-SWMO, and volunteer civil service organizations (CSOs), and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
The rehabilitation drive involved a walk-through inspection of the park led by the officials of the concerned agencies, followed by simultaneous face-lifting and clearing operations.
During the walk-through, officials assessed the condition of the park and aspects that are in need of further improvement.
Representatives from the DENR helped the local government and PRCMO determine the kind of mangrove and ornamental plants that may be installed at the riverside park.
Attendees were separated into groups to work on their designated areas in the park. They swept the grounds, painted the sidewalks and stairs leading down the river, and removed the obstructions in the area.
Efforts to clean the Pasig River are on-going by the PRCMO.
Sotto said they will be undergoing the project step-by-step to ensure its full implementation.
After the clean-up drive, they will soon execute plans for the installation of bike lanes and street lights. Afterwards, they will also put features in the park such as playgrounds, and benches in order to make it a good open space for kids and a relaxing venue for senior citizens.
Sotto emphasized the essence of the Pasig River to Pasigueños, citing its role in their daily lives, culture, and economy.
He noted the traditional practice and design of areas by the riverside that does not allow people to safely commune with the river and their environment.
“Ang ginagawa po natin sa tabing ilog at sa ibang sapa po natin, hindi po dapat na ‘yung lumang modelo na puro konkreto, sementado, kung saan po nadi-disconnect ang tao at mamamayan at mga komunidad natin sa ilog (What we are doing for our riverside areas should not follow the old model of simply putting concrete and cementing the grounds wherein the people and the communities are disconnected from the river),” Sotto said.
“Siyempre naintindihan naman natin. Pinag-uusapan natin kaligtasan ng tao, flood control. Pero sa pagdidisenyo natin, sa pag-iisip natin ng mga disenyo kung saan ligtas ang tao, wag po natin kalimutan ang mga bagay tulad ng open spaces natin (Of course we understand this. We’re talking about safety and flood control. But as we design these kinds of places that prioritizes the people’s safety, let’s not forget the value of our open spaces),” he added.
As more government and non-government agencies flock to Pasig City to partner with the local government, Romulo urged all stakeholders to strengthen their coordination in all steps of their respective projects and programs.
“Panahon na at isabuhay po natin ang ‘stronger together’. Sana po sabay-sabay po kayo sa mga plano para talagang holistic po ang approach natin (It is time we become ‘stronger together’. Let’s work together to ensure a truly holistic approach),” said Romulo.
“Hindi naman pwede na papagandahin lang natin ito. Kailangan talaga ‘yung pangkabuhayan nito sa Barangay Pineda (We cannot just beautify this area. We also need to boost the area as a source of livelihood for residents in Barangay Pineda),” he added.
Sotto said they are in talks with other barangays to also create riverside linear parks in their areas.
Buting Linear Park, the first riverside park in the city, was inaugurated on July 26 as a collaboration between the local government and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
It was a part of the MMDA’s “Adopt-A-Park” project that helps local government construct and promote open spaces in Metro Manila, especially in pocket areas of cities that have limited green spaces.
Located near the San Joaquin Pasig River Ferry Station, the 800-meter linear park has playground sets, and other amenities that may be freely used by residents of Barangays Buting and San Joaquin.