Industrial Pollution To Hinder Pasig River Rehabilitation

Now this is what I’ve been talking about. Last Tuesday, a news report came out that the city government of Pasig is now monitoring two factories after it was discovered that these facilities have been discharging chemicals into the Marikina River.

The reports:

AY Tantuco Manufacturing Inc. and its sister company Pure Essence International Corp—manufacturers of diesel and soaps—-made another blunder when an environment team found a pipe discharging chemical substance coming from their plants going to the Marikina River, Raquel Naciongayo, city environment officer, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The two were also given 30 days to purchase an anti-air pollution device after a pungent odor was reported in two barangays in Pasig City in Aug. 11.

“We have also found out that there had been a contamination in the river twice sometime in July and August,” Naciongayo said.

The city environment office had already ordered the sister companies to remove the pipe. “It’s possible they drain their waste in the river whenever their sewerage treatment facility is turned off,” she said.

Now imagine the same thing happening along the Pasig River and its tributaries. This is exactly my biggest concern about focusing river rehabilitation efforts on band-aid solutions such as clean-ups and fun runs. Removing squatter colonies and removing the buildup of waste materials may do the river some good but nothing that could be considered permanent.

I would argue that as long as these factories and manufacturing plants continue to operate along its banks, Pasig River will never really get the chance to heal and come back to life.

A Greenpeace report on industrial pollution in Pasig River provides a clearer picture.

In September 1999, Greenpeace collected wastewater and sediment samples from and around the effluent outlets of two factories – Chemphil and Republic Asahi. The samples were analyzed at the Greenpeace Research Laboratories at the University of Exeter, UK. The findings vindicate Greenpeace’s hypothesis that the Pasig River environment is being steadily loaded with non-degradable and poorly degradable toxic substances.

Read the Greenpeace report, for more details.

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