DHSUD prepares for Pasig River rehabilitation
The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) has hit the ground running after being tapped as head of the Inter-Agency Council for the Pasig River Urban Development (IAC-PRUD) by virtue of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s Executive Order 35.
DHSUD Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar, along with key DHSUD officials, has started inspecting key areas along the Pasig River, and subsequently laid out plans on how to implement the President’s order.
Initially, Secretary Acuzar checked on the portions of the historical river in Manila, particularly at the back of the Central Post Office, which is being eyed as pilot area for mixed-use development and tourism spot, and Parola Compound for the affected ISFs.
“We already have plans, and we will soon present it to the Office of the President and before the council for approval,” Secretary Acuzar said.
The DHSUD chief has already met with MMDA Chairman Romando Artes, vice chair of the IAC-PRUD, to discuss the council’s initial steps to put the order’s provisions into actionable strategies for the member-agencies.
Under EO35, the secretaries of DPWH, DENR, DILG, DOT, DoTr, DOF, DBM; the chairperson of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, general manager of the Philippine Ports Authority, commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard, the general manager of the Laguna Lake Development Authority and the chief executive officer of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority were named as council members. The National Housing Authority will serve as the secretariat.
The IAC-PRUD was tasked primarily to “facilitate and ensure the full rehabilitation of the banks along the Pasig River water system and nearby water systems in order to provide alternative transportation, propel economic opportunities, and boost tourism activities.”
The council was directed to formulate a Pasig River Urban Development Plan which shall serve as the blueprint for the full rehabilitation of the river with the end view of realizing its full potential for mixed-use development, transportation, recreation, tourism and sustainable human settlement, taking into consideration its historic and cultural value.
It was also ordered to “study, prepare and implement a comprehensive shelter plan for massive relocation of informal settler families and other unauthorized or unlawful occupants along the Pasig River banks, including identification of suitable relocation sites; strategies for economic and social integration for ISFs, and long-term solutions to address ongoing migration into the Pasig River banks.
The EO also authorizes the IAC-PRUD to “accept grants, contributions, donations, endowments, bequests, or gifts in cash or in kind from local and foreign sources in support of the formulation and implementation of the Pasig River Urban Development Plan, subject to existing laws, rules and regulations.
To monitor the progress of the rehabilitation, EO35 tasked the IAC-PRUD to submit to the Office of the President, through the Office of the Executive Secretary, a quarterly status report.
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