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PIA Press Release

PGMA groundbreaks Paco Market Restoration project

Manila (22 February) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will lead the groundbreaking ceremonies of the Paco Market Restoration Project to signal the start of restoration works to be conducted on Paco Market when she visits the historical landmark today, (February 22, 2010).

The Paco Market Restoration Project, which forms part of an ambitious undertaking to clean up the Pasig River, is being constructed in cooperation with the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission and the Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig (KBPIP) - a partnership between ABS-CBN Foundation Inc. (AFI) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

AFI managing director Gina Lopez said the 100-year old Paco Market is one of the main sources of pollutants of the Estero de Paco, which flows to the Pasig River. She stressed the importance of addressing the source of waste first to successfully revive the dying river.

"What we are going to do here in Paco is rehabilitate the market, educate stallholders and vendors, and implement stricter market management so the wastes won't go to the Estero and then Pasig River anymore," Lopez said.

Paco Market project management team leader Maja Olivares-Co of Sonia Santiago-Olivares Associates (SSO.A) said the restoration, estimated to be worth P15 million, will be completed in six months.

Presently, KBPIP has been conducting dredging of the Estero de Paco with the help of private agencies, the military, the city government of Manila, and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority. KBPIP also established a Materials Recovery Facility to implement waste segregation near the market.

Based on a study conducted by the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC), the Pasig River is polluted with 45% household waste, 45% industrial waste, and 10% solid waste. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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