New DENR order for river restoration projects

The Philippines’ Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is making it possible for local government units (LGUs) to undertake dredging and river restoration projects without spending taxpayers’ money.

Image source: DENR

This decision was revealed after DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu issued an administrative order rationalizing dredging activities in heavily silted river channels across the country in a bid to restore their natural state and flow, and reduce flooding.

DENR Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2020-07 provides that private contractors shall cover all expenses of dredging operations in river dredging zones (RDZ) to be identified by a provincial inter-agency committee created under the directive.

“No funding from the government shall be made for the conduct of dredging activities by the private sector,” Cimatu said in the order.

“Holders of dredging clearance shall provide the financing, technology, management and personnel necessary to implement dredging activities within the exclusive RDZ,” he added.

Under the DAO, only duly registered companies with technical and financial capabilities to undertake large-scale flood control dredging and desilting operations may apply for a dredging clearance with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The private contractor will have to shoulder all the expenses of the dredging operation in exchange for whatever minerals it may recover, provided it pays the required national and local taxes.