The President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, has approved the Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol’s recommendation to start the dredging of four major rivers in the country.
The dredging operations will be a stop-gap measure to avert flooding in the areas where the rivers pass through, the secretary said.
He also added that, two weeks ago, heavy floods hit the Agusan River Basin, Davao del Norte and the Central Mindanao, causing heavy damage to agriculture.
In its announcement, Piñol said that Duterte directed the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) to work with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to implement the dredging in the following rivers:
- Agusan River which flows from the mountains of Davao and ends up in Butuan City which recently overflowed its banks and damaged an estimated 50,000 hectares of farmlands;
- Rio Grande de Mindanao which flows out of Cotabato City from the plains of Central Mindanao passing through the Liguasan Marsh. It also caused flooding in Maguindanao and North Cotabato Provinces recently;
- Pampanga River which causes flooding in Pampanga Province every year destroying crops;
- Cagayan River, the country’s longest and biggest river which flows from Quirino Province and ends up in Aparri, Cagayan.