Ban On Swimming In Pozo Negro River

As much as I would love to, I don’t think I will find the courage to swim in the Pasig River. It’s way too dirty. As it is, Pasig River is one big disgusting soup of biological and chemical contaminants.

It appears though that E. Coli is not scary enough for some people. Unmindful of the health risks this bacteria poses, some people — presumably those living in the shanty colonies along the river — still find enjoyment swimming in the river.

Bad news for these people or at least those living in the Manila portion of the river. A Manila City councilor is pushing for a ban against swimming in the river. Here’s the report from

Manila City Councilor Luciano M. Veloso of District 6 has proposed an ordinance seeking to prohibit anybody from diving, wading, or swimming in Manila’s portion of Pasig River.

“It shall be unlawful for any person to dive, wade, or swim along the section of Pasig River that falls under the jurisdiction of the City of Manila, except when done with the consent or authority of the Barangay Chairman nearest the portion of the river which undergoes cleaning of floating debris, and in cases of saving victims of drowning and boat accidents,” the ordinance said.

Once approved, anybody violating the ordinance will be brought to the near police precinct by their Sangguniang Barangay Officials and fined P200 for the first offense, P500 for the second offense, and P1,000 for the third offense.

Copies of the ordinance, once approved, will be posted in the Barangay Halls nearest Pasig River, and warning signs will be put up in conspicuous areas along Pasig River.

I wonder why the good councilor is pushing for such a ban. While I’m not sure I agree with his proposal I think it’s for the public’s good. Besides, why would anyone want to swim in the river Pasig considering its current state, which an report highlights:

Pasig River is now Metro Manila’s “pozo negro” or septic tank.

This was revealed during the budget hearing for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the Senate after Secretary Ramon Paje admitted that only 18 percent of the metropolis waste water goes through a treatment plant with the rest going directly to the Pasig River.

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