By Darryl John Esguerra

OLD GLORY. Infrastructure works are in full swing in Intramuros, Manila on June 13, 2024, part of the Pasig Bigyang Buhay Muli: Pasig River Urban Development Showcase Area which aims to restore the glory of the 25.2-kilometer water body that connects Laguna de Bay to Manila Bay. The project, under the guidance of First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos, envisions a living river with safe walkways and bikeways along its banks, greener surroundings, urban gardens, parks for communities, commercial enterprises and even regular transportation. (PNA photo by Yancy Lim)

MANILA – As part of the administration’s bid to revitalize Pasig River and make it a prime hub for recreation and tourism, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. inaugurated Phase 1C of the Pasig River Urban Development Showcase Area at Plaza Mexico, Magallanes Drive in Intramuros, Manila on Sunday.

Accompanied by First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos, the President introduced to the public the new attraction in the 25-kilometer development project, which is part of the ongoing “Pasig Bigyang Buhay Muli” project. 

Phase 1C introduced a one-story structure with a roof deck along the Pasig River, featuring a three-meter wide walkway flanked by leasable commercial spaces at the ground level and a combination of a walkway, bike lane and viewing area on the roof deck.

It will encompass over 30 commercial stalls equipped with modern amenities, including sewage treatment, individual electric and water meters, fire protection and public restrooms.

The structures will use renewable energy and promote other ecological practices aligned with the environmental protection and conservation strategies of the government. 

Marcos said he envisions the famed waterway to become among the world’s famous places for rest and recreation and the pride of Filipinos.

“After decades of neglect, let us witness the revitalization of our beloved Pasig River. A river that will look and feel like the famous waterways across the world, and that we see the Seine in Paris, the [River] Thames in London, the Chao Phraya in Bangkok,” Marcos said.

Pasig River, according to the President, “reflects the unyielding resolve and bayanihan (cooperation) spirit of the Filipinos.”

“Bringing the Pasig River back to life mirrors our ongoing journey towards a brighter future for our country. How well we do here will reflect our efforts in other areas of the country and how successful we are at improving and leaving the country a better place than we found it,” Marcos said.

Phase 1C followed the launch of the first phases earlier this year.

“Rest assured that apart from our enthusiasm and optimism, the First Lady and I will provide our all-out support and commitment to the completion of this project, hopefully in three years’ time. That will be our goal,” Marcos said. 

The President thanked those involved in the project, including members of the Inter-Agency Council and the local government of Manila.

He also called on the project implementers and stakeholders to “sustain the cleanliness, beauty, and security of the esplanade” even as he urged the public to join the advocacy and contribute, in whatever way possible, to bring back the old glory of Pasig River. (PNA)