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Manila News: Pasig River Update
« on: October 12, 2010, 11:04:36 PM »
By Pat C. Santos, Tribune

Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim yesterday expressed doubt the P4.5- billion dredging of the 20-kilometer stretch of Pasig River was completed two months ahead of schedule.

Lim’s doubt was revealed during a press conference held inside his office after he created a team composed of engineers to investigate the claim made by Baggewerken Decloedtan ZA (BDC), a Belgian contractor of the project, to verify if the project were truly finished ahead of schedule.

Lim tasked City Administrator Jesus Mari Marzan to compose the team of engineers headed by assistant city engineer Melvin Balagot to locate where the claimed 2.8 metric tons of dredged materials composed mainly of domestic waste materials and silts were disposed of or dumped considering that the city has not received any report of dumping or disposal.

Lim said initial plans to dump the recovered silts were in Baseco reclamation area but it was met with stiff opposition from its residents because of the stench it emitted.

Lim added since the dredging and dumping took place in Manila, the city’s permit should have been obtained.

Earlier, engineer Allan Polintan, deputy executive director of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC), had said the dredging project had been completed by the Belgian contractor last Sept. 25 and that the dredging equipment were turned over to the PRRC for it to maintain the dredging of the river.

This reporter was one of those invited during a visitation tour made by Regina Lopez, an ABS-CBN executive and chairman of the PRRC, and what he witnessed during the tour was a dredging operation with a crane loaded on the boat where those recovered silts were placed in a rented small vessel and, after it was full, the vessel traveled toward the edge of the Pasig River and presented to media the dumping site which is about 500 meters away from the edge of the river.

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