The Pasig River Ferry Service (PRFS) has been suspended indefinitely since Saturday as the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) works to remove tons of water hyacinths that clog the Pasig River.
In a message on Wednesday, MMDA Assistant Secretary Celine Pialago said their personnel collect an average of 150 cubic meters or five to seven truckloads of water hyacinths per day, with no end yet in sight.
“Ang haba ng Pasig River is 27 kilometers (km). Pero wala pa po kaming specific km kung ilan ang may water [hyacinth]. Iba-iba ang situation bawat Pasig River station (Pasig River is 27 km in length. But we don’t know yet how much is filled with water hyacinths. Each PRFS station has different situations),” Pialago said.
She noted that most of the collected water hyacinths are sent to a drying area that can be picked up and used by local weavers to create baskets, bags, and other crafts.
“They allow LGUs (local government units) and NGOs (non-government organizations) to pick up as much as they want for their livelihood program. There’s no cost but they have to transport it themselves,” Pialago said.
Sharon Gentalian, MMDA public affairs director, said the MMDA has been collecting water hyacinths non-stop, with about 770 cubic meters collected from Oct. 1 to 6, and 7,235 cubic meters collected from July to September of this year.
The clogging of water hyacinths, an invasive aquatic plant, has been a perennial problem along the Pasig River due to the high nutrient content of its waters. (PNA)