‘Clean rivers or you’ll be fired’
Cimatu offers incentives, warnings to DENR personnel during 4th Int’l River Summit
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu has challenged all the regional directors of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to take action in restoring the rivers in the county or else be removed from the post.
Cimatu pointed out the disintegration of the quality of rivers in the country over time.
“I am directing these regional directors to make sure that all the rivers in their area will be cleaned,” said Cimatu, who was in Cebu on Wednesday as the guest speaker of the Fourth International River Summit at the Radisson Blu Cebu.
Cimatu, who is determined to restore the once healthy rivers in the country, said he would be willing to give rewards to the best performing regional department offices in cleaning the rivers.
“For those who will be able to clean and establish the cleanest river in the country they will be given some awards,” he said.
Apart from that, Cimatu promised a promotion to regional directors who could present their clean rivers within a year.
“I will be giving them promotions for this,” he added.
DENR – 7 Director Gilbert Gonzales, for his part, said he was confident that rivers in Cebu would be restored to its healthier state.
“We are confident we can accomplish (this) and all sectors will join hands to support (this undertaking) in order to achieve it as envisioned by our Secretary Cimatu,” said Gonzales.
However, Cimatu threatened to remove DENR personnel if they would be found out to have neglected their rivers.
“Yong mga personnel namin napabayaan yong river, maghanap ako ng mas magaling sa kanila na ipapalit (Those personnel, who had neglected the rivers. I would look for those who would replace them that are better than them),” Cimatu said.
Meanwhile, Cimatu recalled to have seen the rivers in Mandaue City being cleaner about 48 years ago.
He said that the rapid urbanization could be a factor that allowed the deterioration of the rivers.
“If we become progressive, nakakalimotan nating linisin ang rivers natin (we forget to clean our rivers),” said Cimatu.
The Mandaue City government, who is hosting the summit, has been conducting an ongoing river rehabilitation, particularly to their Butuanon river.
While, Mandaue City Mayor Gabriel Luis “Luigi” Quisumbing said he was hopeful the summit would bring awareness and commitment in saving the rivers to give as a form of legacy to the younger generation.
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