Cebu’s Cenro goes all out with river cleanup drive
CEBU CITY, Philippines–The Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) envisions that in six months, Cebu City’s upstream river systems will be reclassified to “Class C” or rivers safe for bathing.
This was the pronouncement of Nida Cabrera, the Cenro head, who is leading the rehabilitation of the city rivers even before she revealed in a press briefing last week that the Tinago River and Bulacao River have been declared to biologically dead, citing a report from the Environment Management Bureau in Central Visayas (EMB-7).
Cabrera said that even before she got hold of the EMB-7’s report, Cenro has laid out plans to rehabilitate the rivers, including cleanup drives along coastal areas and the installation of biofences.
However, this time, the Cenro will intensify the drives to reach their six-month-goal through synchronized cleanups and wider information drive.
Cabrera said they will be delegating the river monitoring responsibility to the barangays so they will be involved in keeping clean the parts of the rivers that are within their jurisdiction.
“If we notice that their parts of the rivers are dirty, the barangays will be apprehended through citations,” Cabrera told Cebu Daily News Digital.
Cabrera said they are looking into measures that will penalize the barangays that cannot keep their rivers and other water systems clean.
According to Cabrera, some non-government organizations (NGOs) have promised to contribute to the cause by being vigilant and, if needed, to file charges against the barangays that will continue to neglect their rivers.
As of now, they seek to train the barangays in maintaining the rivers through regular cleanups and formulating means to stop the residents from throwing garbage into the river.
To kick off their intensive drive, Cenro will hold cleanup drives in Bulacao River on February 22, Lahug River on March 9, and Guadalupe River on March 16.
Cabrera said that this time, the cleanup drives will go beyond the coastal areas but will traverse the rivers going upstream in a synchronized cleanups with the barangays.
“Tanan na, magdungan og limpyo anang adlawa. Apil na ang mga barangays nga naagian sa sapa,” she said.
In the case of the Bulacao River, the first river to undergo cleanup, Barangays Bulacao, Inayawan and Soong will all help clean their parts of the river.
Cabrera said this is the ideal set up, with the barangays taking responsibility in cleaning their rivers.
She urged the residents in these villages and those who are want to volunteer in the river cleanup drives to register at the Cenro at the Cebu City Hall. /
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