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Parian Creek is alive again

/ 07:29 PM May 24, 2011

SEVERAL YEARS ago, Parian Creek in Pasig City was ugly and presumably dead. It was stagnant, heavily silted and polluted—clogged by commercial and residential establishments from San Jose Barangay Hall to a McDonald’s branch on A. Mabini Street in Barangay Kapasigan. The rest of the 3.5-km length of the creek was covered with water hyacinths and considerable domestic and industrial wastes. Sad to note that it was a breeding pool for “dengue mosquitoes,” not to mention, a very strong stench emanating from it. It was a time when Parian Creek was at its saddest and worst state, a monument severed by neglect and the indifference of a people and a government that did not preach and practice the gospel of environmental protection and sustainable development.

Sometime in 2000, during Typhoon “Rosing,” Pasig City proper, including the City Hall and the Pasig Mega Market, was flooded for almost three months. The entire drainage system of Pasig City proper failed and ceased to function.

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Before it fell into neglect, Parian Creek was beautiful and navigable. It was sandy, clear and had a moderate current that drained into the Pasig River. It was the only important navigational passage when the Spanish conquistadors founded the town of Pasig in 1573. Parian Creek was the most important trade route of the riverine people of Laguna, Rizal and old Manila for more than 350 years—until water transportation became unpopular. Subsequently, the neglect of Parian Creek started.

Today, Parian Creek is considered saved and rehabilitated, and its entire length is being transformed into a state-of-the-art park. On both sides are three-meter pedestrian spaces bounded by seven-foot-high concrete barriers and prefabricated concrete balusters. Also, butterfly trees are planted at regular intervals and provided with high-wattage light bulbs during the night.

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The successful and laudable projects are a testimonial to the strong political will of the Pasig City government headed by Mayor Bobby Eusebio, which coordinated with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority in demolishing residential houses along Parian Creek.
Pasig City is one of the primary flood lanes of Laguna Lake. The city is considered very vulnerable to killer typhoons and floods. It is highly vulnerable to global warming, climate change, rise in sea level and sinking of water tables.

Now that the Parian Creek is alive and flowing continuously, it is imperative and necessary to construct strategic dikes, floodgates and pumping stations that will help keep the creek from overflowing and turning again the entire drainage system inutile.

—EDUARDO L. INTIA,
234 M. H. del Pilar,
Palatiw, Pasig City

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TAGS: environment, letters to the editor, opinion, pollution, waterways
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