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Pasig River Forum
Welcome address by ADB Director General Kunio Senga at the Pasig River Forum on 24 April 2012, ADB Headquarters, Manila
Magandang umaga po sa inyo lahat. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the Asian Development Bank.
I would like to especially welcome
- Mayor de Guzman of Marikina and our Executive Director Hernandez
- Ms. Gina Lopez, Chair of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission – our partner in this event
- Invited guest speakers from Thailand, People's Republic of China, Indonesia, Korea and Germany.
We are also grateful for Secretary Paje, Secretary Singson and Secretary Robredo who will join us this afternoon to sign our Pasig River Declaration.
Thank you all very much for joining us at this Pasig River Forum. We believe that this could be the first significant stakeholders meeting on the Pasig River. As a guest corporate resident of the Greater Manila, ADB has a special affinity to the Pasig River. We are, therefore, delighted to be in partnership with the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission to make this event happen.
ADB's overarching goal is to reduce poverty and improve living conditions. The Pasig River and its esteros currently reflect poverty in its polluted waterways and unhealthy state as well as the poor conditions endured by informal riverside dwellers. Regrettably, it also reflects the poverty of our attitude towards our environment and our failure to prevent the polluting practices of individuals, households, and industries.
In the interest of poverty reduction, water management practices, and achieving cities that are green, inclusive and competitive, ADB has consciously focused on cleaning up polluted waterways as a priority in our development plans. We are currently assisting other countries with their rivers to improve the quality and surroundings.
ADB is a bank, but we understand that cleaning up rivers and sustaining their cleanliness go beyond providing money to achieve this goal. We know, through experience, that community mobilization and leadership commitment, backed with a vision and supported by capable and coordinated institutions, are critical success factors.
Sustainable solutions require strong partnerships. All sectors—governments, the private sector, civil society, development institutions, media, and others—play important roles in tackling the huge challenges we face in rehabilitating the Pasig River. This forum is a step further in building partnerships for knowledge sharing, strategic planning, comprehensive reform, enhancing capacity and increasing investments.
Our objective today is to inform everyone on the Pasig River's rehabilitation progress, further plans, and opportunities to strengthen our coordination, collaboration, and cooperation to achieve our common goals of achieving and sustaining a river free of pollution and creating a river environment we can all enjoy and be proud of.
I know many efforts are gathering momentum to make the Pasig River more like the waterway we would all aspire it to be.
That is why I welcome you all to gain further impetus from today's proceedings, share your knowledge and experiences, and, finally, indicate your commitment to the Pasig River Declaration by signing off on our common goals and targets.
I wish you very productive and fruitful discussions today.