Cebu Cenro requests dredging equipment from DPWH for river cleanup

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio July 22,2019 - 04:19 PM

Trash beneath the Guadalupe Bridge in Cebu City during the cleanup of the Guadalupe River on March 16, 2019. | Delta Dyrecka Letigio

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Environment and Natural Resource Office (Cenro) plans to coordinate with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for equipment to be used in the “massive”dredging to be conducted in the creeks and rivers in the city.

According to Lawyer John Jigo Dacua,  new Cenro head, they plan to borrow the same equipment used in the dredging of Manila Bay, as the dredging of the bay would be expected to be finished this July.

Dacua said that it would take bigger equipment to solve the garbage problems of Cebu City’s river systems as they had been accumulating in the riverbed making it difficult to clean up the trash by simply using backhoes.

“Nagrequest na mi sa DPWH. Hinaot ma-prioritize ta, makahuwam ta atong gigamit sa Manila Bay dredging. Mao ra pud atong gamiton sa atong rivers. For now, mano-mano lang sa,” said Dacua.

(We already requested to the DPWH for the dredging equipment. We hope we will be prioritized so we can borrow the equipment used in the Manila Bay dredging, which we will use in our rivers. As of now, we will just have to do the cleanup by hand.)

Dacua said that the equipment would rapidly increase the amount of garbage the city could dredge out from the rivers in a shorter period of time.

As of first week of July, manual cleanups in the different barangays collected 21,500 kilos of garbage.

The new Cenro head said he would continue the programs of previous head, Nida Cabrera, including the setting up of biofences and food-for-work program among the homeless to collect more garbage.

Read more: Cebu City’s biofences help collect garbage, provide jobs to scavengers

He said that new biofences had been made and would be ready to install in more of the waterways in Cebu.

These biofences were designed by Cabrera in 2018 to block flowing garbage from a certain area moving further downstream.

“Ubay-ubay na ang biofences nga ilang gihimo ug sige pud silag repair sa mga nangagubang biofences. Wala lang koy figures pila pero ubay-ubay na. (There are quite many new biofences built while the old ones are being repaired. I still do not have the figures, but there are quite a number already),” said Dacua.

The food-for-work program is in coordination with the barangays, allowing people to collect garbage and maintain assigned portions of the creeks and rivers, usually along biofences, in exchange for food.

Read more: Boy, 5, falls in Basak Pardo canal; missing

Dacua said they were currently prioritizing the Mahiga creek, and the creek in Barangay Mambaling where the body of five-year-old John Clark Ebua was found after he fell into a canal and was washed by flood on July 13.

After the “tragic” incident, Dacua said they had begun cleaning the creek to ensure no similar incident would happen again in the future.

Read more: Boy, swept away by onrushing canal water, found dead near Tagunol bridge

These creeks have also been installed new biofences so the garbage can easily be collected.

Cenro also plans to intensify its education campaign to remind riverbank residents with the consequences of throwing their garbage to the rivers.

Dacua also reminded the public that a household or a business establishment caught polluting the rivers might pay at least P1,000 for the first offense and might be penalized up to P50,000 for the third offense.

He said he was hoping that the communities would cooperate with the city in the rehabilitation of the rivers in Cebu City./dbs

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TAGS: biofences, CENRO, cleanups, Dacua, DPWH, dredging, equipment, river

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