Rivers support life and civilization.
In fact, all the great civilizations started along the banks of mighty river systems like the Amazon in South America, the Yangtze in China, Nile in Egypt and the Tigres-Euphrates in Mesopotamia now Iraq.
And since ancient agriculture relies heavily on irrigation water drawn from rivers, the people took great care of these bodies of water from which they get drinking water, catch fish and other aquatic food, wash their clothes, and clean their houses.
In this poor excuse for a country, people express their gratitude and respect for rivers, streams, and lakes by turning them into a gigantic, open garbage disposal machine.
Just throw the trash into the raging current and watch them flow into the sea.
That’s why Manila Bay is now a vast, open “septic tank”.
When rivers die, could people survive?
Some 13,674 tons of garbage were collected from the Pasig River from January to June this year.
Newly-appointed Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission Executive Director Jose Antonio Goitia said at a press conference in Sulo Hotel Tuesday that they were able to cover 16 of the 47 tributaries and creeks of Pasig River despite meager resources and personnel.
"The PRRC has only one trash boat, but we are building one more and awaiting the donation of another trash boat which Sec. Roy A. Cimatu of the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) has kindly approved," he added.
The 16 creeks and tributaries covered by the clean-up and rehabilation are Estero de Binondo, Estero de Aviles, Estero de Uli-Uli, Estero de Sampaloc, Estero de San Miguel, Estero de Valencia, Estero de Paco, Estero de Pandacan, Estero de Concordia, Estero de Santibanez, San Francisco River, Ermitanyo Creek, Maytunas Creek, Pasong Tamo Creek, Poblacion Makati and Baseco.
He stressed that the clean-up of the Pasig River is not PRRC's task alone but a "communal responsibility" among communities along the river and concerned government agencies.
"The singular task is a communal responsibility. Every government agency, every local government unit, every establishment, every community, and every individual affected by the Pasig River and concerned by its health as a waterway should contribute to the effort," he said.
Goitia also warned individuals and companies against dumping solid and liquid wastes into the Pasig River, stressing that they could be apprehended and penalized.
He said the PRRC, under his watch, has secured the authority from Laguna Lake Development Authority General Manager Jaime Medina to arrest people who would be caught dumping wastes into the Pasig River and its tributaries.
"I urge individuals and companies along the Pasig River and its tributaries not to take this warning lightly or to test our will in cleaning the Pasig River. We have the ability and commitment to carry out our mandate," he said.