Posted on December 17, 2020
TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan: The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in Region 2 (Cagayan Valley) has accredited two dredging firms for any minerals, which may be discovered to be of value during the rehabilitation of the Cagayan River to mitigate massive flooding.
Engineer Mario Ancheta, MGB-Region 2 director, said a Certificate of Accreditation or CoA was issued to Great River North Consortium (GRNC) and Riverfront Construction Inc. (RCI) to dredge the river without any expense to be incurred by the government.
Ancheta said the MGB certifies the two companies as “dealer, trader and/or retailer of minerals/mineral products and/or by-products,” which may be extracted from the dredged materials.
Last Thursday, a memorandum of agreement (MoA) was signed between the two companies and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the removal of silt that is blocking the flow of water running through the Cagayan River.
The MoA was signed by DENR Cagayan Valley Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan, GNRC Manager Antonio Talaue and RCI President Feng Li. The plan covers 30.8 km as the river dredging zone (RDZ) is believed to be rich in magnetite, more popularly known as black sand.
Magnetite is used as an additive in the manufacture of concrete and steel products, magnets, paint, ink, paper, jewelry and cosmetics.
As stated in the MoA, the DENR will conduct a survey of nonmetallic and metallic resources in the RDZ to determine metallic and other valuable materials in economic quantities. It will also monitor the operation of the operator-dredger to ensure faithful compliance with applicable environmental laws, rules and regulations.
For Governor Manuel Mamba, the rehabilitation of the Cagayan River is a “dream come true” for the province of Cagayan, which has been suffering massive flooding due to siltation.
“There is an urgent need to dredge the river to mitigate flooding in the province and other parts of the region. This will also make it possible for us to reopen the decades-old Port of Aparri that was closed due to the heavy buildup of sand and other materials,” Mamba said.
Ancheta reiterated that GRNC and RCI will undertake the project without funding from the government and bear the full cost of the project, including the disposal of the dredged materials.
The companies are disallowed from processing dredged materials and will have to dispose them of outside the Philippine territorial jurisdiction.