Posted on December 14, 2020
TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan: Two dredging companies have forged an agreement with the Philippine government on Thursday to rehabilitate the heavily silted Cagayan River for free and without any expenses to be incurred by the government, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
Signatories to the memorandum of agreement (MoA) on the Cagayan River Restoration Project (CRRP) Antonio Talaue, Great River North Consortium (GRNC) managing head, and Feng Li, Riverfront Construction Inc. (RCI) president. Representing the DENR was Executive Region 2 Director Gwendolyn Bambalan of Cagayan Valley.
“The proponents will be shouldering all the expenses related to the dredging activities,” Bambalan said.
In 2017, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte directed the dredging of heavily silted rivers in the Philippines including the Cagayan River, the country’s longest and biggest river.
Acting on Duterte’s directive, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu issued Department Administrative Order (DAO) 2020-07 on February 27, rationalizing dredging activities in heavily silted river channels in the country to help restore their natural state and water flow and reduce flooding, and to protect and properly manage the disposition of sand.
The Inter-Agency Committee (IAC) under the DAO has approved the River Dredging Plan covering 30.8 kilometers as River Dredging Zone (RDZ) for the Cagayan River.
On June 8, 2020, Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba submitted to Cimatu his intent to undertake river restoration through dredging activities. It was approved on June 16, 2020.
With this, the GNRC and RCI have been issued their respective dredging clearance from the Department of Public Works and Highways and the environmental compliance certificate from the Environmental Management Bureau which were required under the DAO.
Under the DAO, a holder of an approved dredging clearance to apply for authority to dispose of extracted material from the RDZ through MoA with the DENR regional office.
Also the IAC vice chairman on the CRRP, Bambalan assured that the dredging activities to be undertaken in the Cagayan River will be at no cost on the part of the government.
“The IAC ensures that all activities of dredging will be as compliant as possible to all the requirements imposed by the government particularly in ensuring environmental consideration in terms of dredging,” Bambalan said.