MANILA, Philippines - ABS-CBN Foundation director Regina "Gina" Lopez took her oath as chair of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) before President Benigno Aquino III on Monday.
Ms. Lopez was accompanied by her brother, ABS-CBN chairman Gabby Lopez.
Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Secretary Ricky Carandang denied that Lopez's appointment was a political reward.
"Absolutely not a political reward. Gina Lopez has long been involved in efforts to clean up the Pasig River. It's a logical choice," Carandang said in a text message.
The PRRC is an attached agency of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Its task is to rehabilitate the heavily polluted Pasig River into a body of water suitable for transport, recreation and tourism.
Lopez has described the task of cleaning of the Pasig River as "a mammoth job because it is so multi-faceted."
"It entails resettlement, solid waste management, and working together with different sectors. Media is the thread that binds it all," she has said.
On March 2008, Bantay Kalikasan, the environment arm of ABS-CBN Foundation, signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the DENR, making the it co-manager of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Project.
Bantay Kalikasan, in partnership with concerned local government units, government agencies, the private sector, non-government organizations, and the general public, is attempting to address the problem by mitigating river pollution at source.