Philippines: DENR Proposes Budget for Air, Water Quality Monitoring at Iloilo River

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has submitted a proposal for a P32.1-million budget for ambient air and water quality monitoring and clean-up of the Iloilo River and its tributary Calajunan and Dungon creeks.

Submitted to the Iloilo-Batiano River Development Council chaired by Ilonggo Senator Franklin M. Drilon and Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, the proposal met positive reception from the members.

Drilon assured he will look for the budget to fund the projects by also giving an ultimatum to the DENR to clean the Iloilo River in six months or positively until September this year.

DENR Regional Director Jim Sampulna said the proposal takes into account the total coliform concentrations at the Iloilo River which are still way below standards. However, current trend shows the general improvement of the water quality of the river.

There is a notable improvement at the Calajunan Creek while Dungon Creek is still way below standards unless relocation of informal settlers and dredging activity will be undertaken as soon as possible.

The river council also approved a resolution calling for the approval of Oplan SWIM or the Sustainable Workplan for the Iloilo River Management.

The projects include the installation of garbage booms along the river consisting of floating containment structures made of impermeable PVC or bamboo designed to collect floating solid waste debris and even oil and grease amounting to P960,000. These trash booms can be stationed at the Calajunan and Dungon creeks and at the Iloilo River along the Carpenter’s Bridge, Drilon Bridge, front of outfall in Barangay Aguinaldo, La Paz, and at the Quirino Bridge.

The plan also proposed the acquisition of three units of vacuum trucks for desludging of collected garbage amounting some P5 million and the establishment of wastewater treatment facilities to reduce organic and inorganic pollution load.

Priority is given to the project in two public markets, the La Paz market and Jaro big market amounting some P6 million.

Other projects are two units of trash collection boats deployed at the Iloilo River amounting P4 million and the community awareness program which include tri-media campaign, installation of signages and production of IEC materials for Oplan SWIM amounting some P2.2 million.

The activity projects will cost some P29.2 million while project monitoring and supervision will cost some P2.9 million.

Press Release, July 1, 2014; Image: Wikimedia

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