With the new streetlights, Estero de Paco is poised to become a tourist attraction, a center of economic activity, and a model for rehabilitation of other waterways leading to the Pasig River.
Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim and ABS-CBN Foundation managing director Gina Lopez led the inauguration of the lights in the estero, a 2.9-kilometer tributary of the Pasig River that was reputed to be a crime route and an accident-prone area.
“The beautification and lighting of Estero de Paco, a joint project of our city and Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig, not only provide residents with a clean estero but also a safe and peaceful environment. The LED lights give more illumination and low electrical consumption,” said Lim.
Installed on an easement section between Pedro Gil and Quirino bridges, the streetlights were the first LED lights ever to be put up in the City of Manila. The city plans to set up more streetlights in other parts of Estero de Paco.
“It’s symbolic. Lights are always symbolic. It’s the advent of a transition from one phase to another—from something so bad, moving on to endless possibilities. It’s the promise of a brighter future—the lighting of Estero de Paco!” said Lopez, who personally requested the lights from Mayor Lim.
ABS-CBN Foundation’s Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig in partnership with the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission, the City of Manila, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Department of Public Works and Highways, Manila Water, Maynilad, and other government and private partners, began rehabilitating Estero de Paco last 2009.
The first phase of rehab includes dredging of silt and accumulated waste at the riverbed, the relocation of more than 1,000 families living along the estero, the development of the three-meter easement as a linear park, information, education, and communication campaign for the residents of the sixteen near the estero, River Warrior training of community volunteers, and the redevelopment of the dry section of the Paco Market.
The ongoing final phase of rehabilitation includes the rehabilitation of Paco Market’s wet section, putting up of coco coir for slope stabilization and planting of phytoremediation plants along the easement, setting up of interceptor box sewer to catch household wastes and the installation of active island reactors to bring life back into the estero waters.
To raise more funds for the rehabilitation of other esteros leading to the Pasig River, ABS-CBN Foundation’s KBPIP will be staging its fourth advocacy run via “09.30.2012 Run for the Pasig River” to be held in Quezon City on September 30, 2012.